-Robert Herrick (1591-1674) from To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
It is 4:58 in the morning.
I hacked and coughed and rattled myself awake an hour ago. After a tall glass of ice water and relocating to a safer corner of the house, away from the whiffling snores of my slumbering family, I have been lying on the couch trying to talk myself into falling back to sleep ever since.
It isn't working.
The Nuthatch and the Robin who roost in opposing eaves of my roof began their beckon to the sun at the delicate hour of 4 am. Like dueling banjos they have persuaded the sky to lighten in degrees and no doubt will convince the sun to make her appearance over the horizon shortly.
In my early morning musings I have come to realize that my days (and nights and life in general) are suspiciously devoid of balance.
For about a month, my head has hit the pillow each night, spinning, contemplating, planning, scheduling, listing... And, if I have the good fortune of sleeping through, I wake in the morning not so much rested as determined, jaw clenched, stubbornly springing out of bed to get a jump start on a day of doings whose older sister, Yesterday, got the better of me, but Today, with all her inheritance will certainly fall humbly at my feet come sundown...
At this point in my cerebral debate, it occurred to me, I am missing it.
The thing that will return to me in the middle of the night on the first day when my eldest daughter leaves my nest for the broader happenings of the new world around her, and The Producer and I are left to beckon a sunrise in it's golden hued brilliance on her future.
That unforgiving truth that these children of mine are on a relentless march to independence, and I am foolishly sprinting from one day to the next in an effort to gain some ground on an equally unforgiving LIST of obligations.
Those minutes in the day when my two year old tugs at my pant leg and says, "I hold you?" with no other agenda other than to steal a few moments nestled together and breathing the same air. Or when my middle daughter, who is turning ten next week, has left the great bike riding frenzy in the cul de sac to come and sit next to me as I work, because she missed me and just wanted to be near me.
These things, these days are fragile, valuable, and slipping away. And I am letting them.
Today, after a generous nap, no doubt, I will indulge in that stickiest sweet, toddler carpet wrestling and block tower building and the inevitable crumbling.
I will take my girls on a hike and we will spot our native Colorado birds...even if that hike is on the inside of a mall and the wildlife is populated by their friends from school.
I will sketch a design for the "Vintage Japanese Party" that my daughter sees in her mind and that I need to see as well.
There will be much storybook reading and giggling and shenanigans and a little planning ahead so as to avoid that harried monster I sometimes turn into when things are piling up on me. But there will be no Sponge Bob Square Pants. No barking orders to daughters who just want to be on summer break, Sheesh!
And come sundown, This Day will stretch her arms high, on her bare tippy toes, She will breathe in deep and slowly exhale. "That was good." She will say. "That was good."