Thursday, September 2, 2010
What does strike me as surprising is the degree to which our children's delight can become our own. A few years ago, I couldn't imagine searching out the highest spot on a playground in order to gaze at the excavators and bulldozers beeping and dumping and pushing in a distant construction site. But with Gabriel, it is sheer pleasure. The joy he takes in such a scene is irresistible. I love what he loves. Why? Because he loves it!
This week has felt absolutely golden. The only shadow is a sadness lurking around in a corner of my heart. I cannot ignore a growing sense of loss over not having had days like this with Frances. I worked full time until she was nearly three, when her brother was born. A Tuesday morning at the playground with the whole morning before us and nothing to do, no groceries to get, no bath to take, no toys to clean up before bed. Just open time and a feeling of quiet possibility. What shall we do together next?
Gabriel has been begging to go to his school ever since Frances began kindergarten. We had visited a handful of times and he always loved it, but of course I was there too. So I was nervous.
We walked in and Gabriel ran right over to the train table. His enthusiasm was such that the other children followed him and they all began playing together. He did look up at me to give me a hug goodbye, then went straight back to playing.
I stood around for awhile. Eventually I realized that it was time for me to go. So I did, with tears running down my cheeks. It could not have been better ... but oh! My little one! Warm, thoughtful Lynda, who runs Lucky Duck out of her home, kindly sent me a slide show of pictures titled "Gabriel's First Day" while I was still at work. More tears! Apparently he had an excellent day, playing with bigger kids, napping without a fuss, and being his general sweet self.
I picked him up around 4:30 and as we pulled into the driveway, Frances tore out of the house to meet us. She thrust this card into Gabriel's hands.
There was a fantastic picture of Gabriel with a basketball on the card's front. I knew she'd been working on it ever since she got home from school. I wanted to squeeze them both way too hard.
We are chugga chugga cous cousing right through this time of multiple transitions. I'm not complaining about how easy and wonderful it has been, I swear. But you know me, I couldn't keep barreling down the tracks without stopping to take a breath, feel the feelings a bit, and share them with you.
Thanks for reading, friends. And now, back onto our respective trains...
*Hoppers are the beastly spider crickets that invade our house this time of year.