Sure. I can be a goofball. That’s why the tag line on my blog is ‘Silly Ol’ Me’. But I can also be serious.
Today there was a brief moment where I wished I could stop time. I’ve had these moments before. A few times as a teenager, a couple more as a young adult and most often as a mom.
The first time I can recall I was 18 years old. I was up in the Catskills (upstate NY) and was working as a camp counselor for one of the hotels. It was very Dirty Dancing-esque. We lived in bungalows behind the lake and every day we would break for a few hours to wash up and dress nicely for dinner. I would take this extra time, waiting for my turn at the shower, and hike a path behind our bungalow. It was as if all my senses were heightened. My feet would crunch on the fallen leaves, I’d jump over tree stumps, I could hear the trickle of water in the distance, I could feel the sun radiate on my face. I crossed a makeshift bridge of old wood planks precariously dumped into the small rivulet and climbed a small cliff. I’d sit with my feet dangling over the edge overlooking the most beautiful uninterrupted space. Nature had a way of turning this small piece of hidden land into a place of natural tranquility. I’d close my eyes and listen to the sounds of birds, or rustling in the leaves by some hidden chipmunk, or the water that was below me. I’d take deep long breaths and feel any tension release from my shoulders or forehead. I’d open my eyes and shut them, repeating this action, taking mental pictures so that if ever I needed, I could see that place in my mind, conjure it up whenever I needed to go to somewhere peaceful. Time stood still. This song reminds me of the thoughts I used to have as I sat there wondering if my current boyfriend would last and if not, who would be the guy I’d finally fall in love with for the rest of my life. Of course there have been many more moments like this one where I just wanted to capture forever.
This morning was one of those moments. It’s no secret how much I love my youngest son. Grabbing him whenever I can to kiss his ample cheeks before time escapes me and he grows out of these last stages of babyhood. Since he turned 5, he has been surprising me right and left and everywhere in between. He is so bright and interested in knowing everything. He speaks more clearly every day asking questions, inquiring if he can help me cook in the kitchen, and today he got dressed by himself. While it is age appropriate and I am proud of him, it was a moment for me that I thought, hey can we slow down? My baby is acting all independent and my breath caught in my throat. But this was not the moment.
We were in the car dropping him off at school, while my husband waited for him to climb out of the car, I wished my little man a fun day. He turned back and said he just wanted to hug me. He climbed to the front seat, grabbed on and hugged, then took my face in his hands, turned my face to the side and kissed my cheek, then gave me a really tight squeeze and jumped out of the car.
I flipped down the mirror behind the visor to apply lip gloss when there on my cheek were the remnants of his cookie crumbs he’d been eating on the way. Oh my, I teared up watching him skip away, climb on my husbands shoulders and happily go off for the day. I stared back at my reflection and had one of those moments. I shut my eyes and opened them once again, repeating this two more times so I could take mental pictures. I just sat there looking at my cheek for a few minutes more before I wiped away the evidence of his love. Wishing I could just stop time for the smallest bit and stay in that moment.
So, while this bittersweet time ebbs away I still look forward to seeing my children age and amaze me. My heartstrings pull as I watch them grow and thrive each in their own way. Time stands still for no one, in my own way I try to hold on to these small moments. When all my chickens leave the coop I’ll have my mental images and will be able to smile while I revisit those precious moments.