I’ve been watching my children. Not in the way that we watch them every day, but in the way where you catch a glimpse of the person they are becoming.
I see…The shape of a jaw that no longer holds that baby edge. Hands that move in emphasis of stories being created and told. Eyes that laugh at a joke heard a hundred times, but is just now understood.
I hear… A piece of logic fall into place that would not have been connected before. Wants and wishes and dreams that deviate from mine, but are more beautiful for their difference. Words used that make me wonder when they learned the proper way to use them.
I feel… Legs almost as long as mine that crawl into my bed in the middle of the night. A weight that can no longer sit on my hip. The slip, slip, slipping away of growing up.
Raising children is like holding sand. You sit on the beach and sink down into its depths. The warmth surrounds you. You scoop some up and watch the grains play in your cupped hands.
At first it is soft and gentle, but then it starts to grate. You think about holding just a little bit less. If only she could talk… I’ll be so glad when he can walk… I can’t wait until he can bathe himself… When will she ever sleep alone.
Your hands become weak, and the grains of sand start to fall. You realize what is happening and you say, “Wait! Wait! No. I want to hold onto you forever.” But it’s too late. No matter how tight you press your palms together or how hard you squeeze your fingers, the stream of sand continues to flow away from you.
Then one day you look up and you see that it has taken its own shape, and all you have left on your palms is a dusting of what used to be. A memory. And that’s when you know that it won’t be so very much longer until your children will be cupping sand of their own.