Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Time Traveling to get the Rose-Colored Glasses

Time travel would be so cool. Or it might be devastating. Either way, heading into the future would sure put the present in perspective.

"Enjoy 'em when they're little -- it goes so fast." So say nostalgic older parents who gaze with sentimental adoration at my babies, who truly will be no longer babies in a blink of an eye. And that's when I'll get to close my eyes, undisturbed, thank you very much.

If only I could time travel...taste the ache of longing for my babies, the twinge of pain recalling how many waste moments of pure love. If only I could see now with the Rose Colored Glasses of the future.

I am practicing for my New Year's Resolution, in hopes of giving myself a head start:

I will remember those words, savoring with sleepy eyes the precious little human beings who learn almost everything about life through my way of being, listening, seeing, loving, laughing, showing, opening, guiding and communicating. I will enjoy every bit of this timeless gift, dammit.

My attention turns to my breath, not in meditative peace, but in anxious observation of how patter-patter and shallow my inhalations are as I feel ready to explode with the incessant, relentless demands.

And then one flashing grin -- just one sends to the moon and centers my spirit on the miracle before me, her life a gathering celebration of creation and its Creator.

"You're making memories!" admonishes my daughter's Kindergarten teacher as all the harried parents are corralled from one craft table to next, helping our children create cheap and priceless ornaments. This is a Christmas Decorating tradition that's been going on at Haddonfield Friend's School for over twenty years.

"I still have my pinecone!" says the teacher. "And today my Kindergartener is jumping out of a plane. Trust me, you'll wish for this day again, when you could sit with your Kindergartener and make holiday decorations with them."

Meanwhile, I am trying to nurse Avriana with one arm, help Gabriel up on my lap with the other, while extracting sparklies from Avriana's mouth, holding her in place with my elbo and then leaning in to assist Nika in the very delicate process of gluing a cotton pom pom on the hat (I almost typed hate) of a plastic snowman.

That was last week, and already, I'm glad I went, not only because of what it meant to my daughter, but because of the lingering connection created by my willingness to enter into the insanity of Kindergarten parent-duties of of love for my big baby girl, whose growing into power, love and beauty more everyday.

Today was Gingerbread House Day. I was able to get a sitter for the little ones, and give Nika my full attention. Well as much of my attention as I could in between letting my mind wander to wondering where we'll be when David starts residency, or feeling annoyed at how the Teacher spoke to parents EXACTLY like the Kindergarteners: "One Two Three, eyes on me!"
But I got some good moments in their, between the graham crackers and the gum drops, and I keep adding more moments and by the grace of God, I will learn a little more everyday to live now by the Rose Colored Glasses of tomorrow.

Because Today will evaporate, and all that'll be left is the love I gave and the love I let open the door of my silly, preoccupide heart.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock!" Could it be the knock of a child? Let the little children come, and so help us God, let us be Awake and Welcoming when they come, for we are each other's little Christs, everyday.


Pistol Pete said...

I really respect your devotion to and appreciation of your children. My wife and I have a very "traditional" marriage where I'm gone working most of the time while she's home with the kids. It works for us, but I know I will one day regret time lost with my kids and family.

Keep up the good parenting.

Jemila Kwon said...

Pete, you sound a little conflicted. I can relate, from the other end of things. At the moment we have a "traditional" marriage purely for circumstantial reasons: medical school can't be done from home and writing can; also our youngest is a total mommy's girl and cries when other people LOOK at her. My oldest daughter I put in daycare when she was one without a guilty conscience and went off to finish college and take CPE. Each kid is different. I am not a traditional girl by nature -- I love being out with adults, thinking, being challenged, working on projects, and I am not hugely domestic. I also usually prefer hanging out with the boys to female conversation, so it gets a little lonely playing the part of stay-at-home mom, when it is something I am doing for love's sale, not a lifelong thing that feels like *who I am.* I just don't get excited about cupcakes and vacuuming ;)

Jemila Kwon said...

That should be love's sake, not love's sale -- clearly love is not for sale :)