i have been stunned to silence the last number of months. the grief. the busy. the unstoppable pace of my children’s maturation. it’s true, the combination of catastrophes and commitments got my tongue.
but, time hasn’t waited along with my baited breath. time, after all, waits for no one.
i was shocked and distracted and playing stoic at the summer’s close and i forgot to say thank you for the light and heat and all the opportunities to share sweaty and salty together-times.
fall was a blur of bright colours and sharp pain. as the days darkened, i celebrated our children’s birthdays with love, delight, and fear: humbled at their glory but terrified at how fast their lives were also passing me by. i sang “happy birthday” to my youngest as i nursed him and rubbed his silky head at day’s end. he looked so peaceful and precious that the love pulsing so intensely in me made me worry that i might yell the verses at him, or, alternatively, implode. i laid next to my eldest instead of simply tucking him in to bed, held his hand in my neck, and whispered silent prayers to the ceiling that both of my babies would press on through the next year grasping at every possibility that was presented to them with their health solid inside.
despite the intense separation anxiety newly manifested in my eldest, who, bless him, learnt too soon the meaning of loss, i somehow returned to my place of employment and found the structure of a perfectly organized and balanced week brought a comforting i so desperately needed. my mood lifted, carried by the pace of my work and my professional passion re-ignited. my family also relaxed and swelled along side me, all of us seemingly more energized, purposeful, and inspired.
off days, which still outnumber work days, became the good stuff again. no longer blending in to one another and making the details indistinguishable, our days as a family were carved out deep; respected and protected as sacred, special, and sweet.
christmas found us with the delight of white and a playfulness that is reserved only for rare occasions. the sun held strong and greeted the cold snap ironically. we went slower than usual, stayed close to us, and kept what mattered in sight: love. i hummed silent night every night to my youngest while he suckled his last month of milk away and i witnessed my big guy successfully strategize in order to place the star on top of the tree. both of them, becoming their next stage of self so subtly yet undeniably.
the new year arrived with the company of our fortune loud and warm and safe around us. multiple families with whom we share a neighbourhood visiting and playing and eating and drinking and laughing together. communing, together. sparklers and wonder with glimmers of hope all over all the little kiddie faces and those of the adults, too.
and now, that’s all that there is. it’s been months. it’s been a season and two halves. it’s been new learned words and knowledge gains and major milestones like sleeping through the night and kindergarten registration. it feels like a lifetime, it has been, since saying farewell to a woman who made up part of how i understand my life, and my self.
it’s time now that i make peace with impermanence in the same way that i try to encourage my children to accept that nothing stays the same and that the slippery and unexpected is, in fact, one of the exciting secrets of growth. helium balloons fly away, good friends journey on, the snow melts, the year ends, and we look to the future, because it’s all that we have left.