I wanted to go alone.
Just a half hour. Thirty minutes. By. My. Self. The hubbs has been working like crazy at this new job and I’ve been working like crazy at trying to keep us all alive during the daylight hours. It’s too hot to run, the pavement is sticky with the summer heat and I’m currently suffering from TFTB (Too Fat To Breath-thanks Chels for the acronym) and by 8 o’clock I just needed a few child-less minutes so I thought I’d go for a walk.
But those big brown eyes looked up at me and said “Please mommy, can I go too?” and my heart heaved a sigh and said yes.
The child is slow as molasses. Honestly. I do not know how feet that move so fast during the day can quite possibly walk so slow when she sets out with me. And my nerves were (are?) shot, and it was all I could do to bite my tongue and not beg her to speed up.
But this child, Lil’ Girl-she sees things. The giant dandelions for making wishes. The weeds that are taller than her but magically new. The rabbit that skipped across the road with it’s chocolate brown hair and on lucky feet. We walked up the hill on that old dirt road and she looked at me with glee in her eyes and said “There’s just so much new stuff, mom!”
And I got caught up in her joy. Looking for the new in the old that seems warn out and ragged to me. I pointed out the bee hives on the hill and we found a new path that winds behind our hill. I felt a tickle on my shoulder and looked down to find, no not a beautiful butterfly. Not a figment of perfection to top of this splendid moment. Not at all. I looked down to find a perfectly white hair, fallen from my head.
Sometimes the newness wears off. Sometimes we grow old and our hair turns color and our knees ache when they shouldn’t and we see through eyes that are jaded and tired and just want the baby to take a nap and the boy to stop throwing a fit. We get caught up in the day to day melancholy of motherhood and parenting and work and forget who we are deep down inside: we’re that girl who used to love to build forts in the backyard and climb trees.
We’re the girl in nursing school who dreams of going back to Africa to make a difference. Save lives. Bring a healing touch.
But we find ourselves begging for that moment of silence in our hum-drum nothing special life and we wonder what went wrong? Why don’t we see like this child does any more? When did the dreams get stuck in the spilled honey on the counter and where in the world did all these white (not grey, mind you) hairs come from?
And we need to stop. To slow down. To take it all in. Because if we just keep plodding along like we are, to get where we’re going even when there’s no destination, we miss the newness. We miss the giant wishes just waiting to be blown away and the sunset that is showing off in the background.
We miss the neighbor passing by that waves just because this is Montana and it’s what we do here.
We miss this life. This world. This beauty that is all around us when we stop seeing with the eyes of a child.
This world moves so fast. Those sunsets don’t last and the wishes get blown away in the wind. Soon it’s not a white hair surprising us on our shoulder, but a brown hair instead and before we know it our knees will cry from the incline of that hill behind the house.
So stop. Take a breath and let this world slow down, one small spin. Take in the terrain as if you were looking with seven year old eyes. Because she’s right: There’s just so much new stuff out there.