I could wake at sunrise, drink in dawn, hold solitude like a diamond, turning it round and round in a soft ray of morning.
But then there is the day stretching on.
I am no longer the observer, single woman, one who can sit or nap or take a bike ride or whatever I want on my two days off from work. I gave up days off for motherhood.
As each child wakes, I listen for what isn’t being said as well as what is; this is how I read the near future. Bless the mornings a good dream is recounted, hide when last night’s argument is revived as if ten hours hasn’t passed and Lego people must be sorted now. If I’m magical, which happens on occasion, I have the power to transform growls into giggles. A hug will do.
These miraculous beings who emerged from my womb are growing long legs, strong arms. If I reach out, I’m reached out to, allowing us all to dive into a second space, one that’s been there all along calling in sing-song whispers, “Too soon they will be grown.”
If I fail to listen, if I linger too long in self-pity, one or the other boy may remember our morning song, morning hugs, morning prayers and we’re all saved from grumpiness, brought back to the land of appreciation. Just then, I know grace, and that my children are “the sons and the daughters of life’s longing for itself” and not mere reflections of my husband and I.
Small children with fat cheeks nearly demand kisses by sheer adorableness, but what of the boy growing out of his shoes every six months. He would ask to be held again, if he could name that new loneliness – fading parental affection.
On Tuesday, I said to my son, who will be eleven tomorrow, “When did it happen? That we only remember to hug at bed time?” Yesterday, barely after sunset, he told grandma that we’re short on hugs at our house. Then he stretched his arms around my waist, rested his head on my shoulder and we hugged for a long, long time.