Heavy on the Here & Now, Light on the Windex

Last night, nearer to dawn than dusk, I sunk my freckled cheek into cotton-wrapped comfort and sighed.  "They're at the perfect age.  It's wearying sometimes, but it's so good." I drifted toward sleep while a parade of images from the year before mingled with the faces from hours earlier. 

Maybe it was all the video and picture sorting I had done that afternoon.  This feeling was just unshakeable. These fleeting days will turn one by one into a history of years-- the years I'll label in retrospect as some of the happiest, the fullest, the sweetest.

"Two healthy kids--it's a miracle.  If you only knew how much can go wrong.  It's really amazing," my husband added, both of us awake enough to marvel, asleep enough to have ceased yawning and blinking.

I went on about how tender they are, dependent, bright-eyed, adorable, hilarious, straightforward.  It's easier now to protect them, more black and white.  And to love them, even in tantrums, because they don't yet try to hurt us with words, or accidentally hurt us with choices, or turn us inside out with grief when those choices hurt them terribly.  "Oh", I sighed, "Thank goodness they're still small."  

They jump out from behind their beds ten times a day and yell "Happy Mother's Day", each time fancying themselves entirely original and surprising.  They scamper around the house shooting sound effects from their fingertips and taking turns as 'piderman. They crouch in wonder at worms and dare to touch.  They giggle and hop and show off with ill-conceived acrobatics.

Yes, when another decade passes and I turn to look back, I will know even more certainly that these were most wonderful days.  

If only I could live now with that certainty.  To live like it is a live performance--one that simply can't be missed.  I must stop and watch and applaud, not disappear during Act I to clean up the concession area or calculate the ticket sales.  If only I could live now with a willingness to happily sacrifice getting things done, to forget about a floor without crumbs, a garden without weeds, a window without fingerprints.

I don't want a decade to pass before I know.

Because someday I will look back, sitting on a stain-free chair, gazing through a spotless window, and I'll wish for these fingerprints and the little hands that made them.

In the Tuesdays Unwrapped series, Emily asks, "Where is the gift today?" and invites us to share what big and important moments we've discovered hiding in the small and ordinary.  As you can surmise from my mothery blubbery above, I found my gift in the form of fingerprints. 
I also found an excuse not to worry about wiping the windows for a good while longer!

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