Every few years another chapter of my life spreads out before me. The blank page awaiting me to find the words, to fill in the empty spaces. The words appear after the lines seem to blur. One dream finished, another unfolding.
Most of the things I have always wanted to be---or treasured---change like the passing of seasons. The only constant dream is my children. And like the mountain saplings of my youth, they will change colors, and grow into maturity. In a blink they will surely find lives of their own, planting their own seeds along the way.
Hopefully the storms will swirl but leave their fresh limbs intact. Branches ever unfurled towards the streaming sun at day, and the twinkling stars of night. Never curled, always open. Beaming with the warmth that I picture sealed on their tiny little faces. The vision I swore to keep, a memory of their first smilies broken wide by tooth-less gums.
Even now while my son grumps of stuffy nose, I think of the day that he won't need my comfort. Or a day, no long off, that he calls not because he loves me, but because he needs something for college.
I am thankful for the time they need me. I am thankful for the nights when all three pile in my bed to watch movies, and giggle till the early a.m. hours. I am thankful for the small day trips, time spent together exploring, being present. I am thankful for the everyday little things that give me something to reflect on.
A heap of pictures stored in the back of my mind, that I can shuffle through for breath of peace. A heap of sounds, filed away, little feet...pattering, first laughs, first words, first "Mom". Even though it was just as foreign to me as it was to my oldest when she bellowed it. A heap of smells, like those early morning hours, swaddling my brand new baby. A heap of caresses, little fingers grabing with a strangle hold onto my finger. The bump of a toddler, a soft embrace of a small arm wrapping around my knee as I'm standing. A grateful hug from a teenager after the answer "Yes" is uttered. One of my favorites: a bear hug, after school, "just because".
The joys of firsts, middles, and in the case of my youngest, lasts.
A true glimpse of happiness.