She sat beside me chatting; every so often mispronouncing a word as she told me an elaborate story about really nothing at all. For her, the story was everything because in her world, getting a ribbon is everything. I chuckled at her thought process. She bounced from topic to topic, she was with her teenage friend and no he was not her brother- they didn’t live in the same house. She asked me: Which was my boy? Hers was player number 28. 28 was her favorite number but 17 was her favorite too- 17 was her birthday- she was 6- maybe 6 should be a favorite number too? Six. She was the same age as my little one. I smiled as she wrestled with which was her favorite number and look across to my “boy,” my brave one.
I was told to enjoy each moment because in a blink of an eye, my newborn would no longer be a baby. I was told when I brought my little one home; my brave one- then a baby- would seem big. I wondered how that could ever be the case? Within moments of carrying my little one over the threshold, I wondered when did my brave one become so big? Another blink and my brave one was setting off on the big yellow ship- embarking on his daily adventure- so independent- so grown up. He seemed so big and in retrospect he was so little. Huge saucer eyes determined to be brave even then. We practiced the alphabet and colored, counted numbers and pieced together puzzles and played games while my little one napped. Another blink and they were setting out together into a world exclusively theirs. My little one’s papers joined his on the wall of fame- the crafts and the drawings, photos and hand drawn cards emerged from backpacks and became treasures that fill my treasure chest. Another blink and she is gone and I am standing eye to eye with my brave one.
In the midst of the moment, the seasons of life seemed an eternity. Every fascination and frustration seemed to promise a million more. The reality is a million more is not guaranteed and the one right now is a grace. What I know now is that the advice shared over a decade ago is a fundamental truth. The right now is a gift to be savored no matter how frustrating, hard or scary, tranquil, carefree or simple- the right now is intended to be embraced and trusted- knowing it is part of something greater; a beautiful thread in the tapestry woven through a life lived abundantly. I loved the years of complete innocence and amazing firsts and miss the midnight moment when the sweaty head flopped on my chest had settled into rhythmic breathing. I loved when curiosity exploded and the world was an exciting adventure waiting to be explored and I miss the plea for help after being assured a million times “I can do.” I loved listening to my little one chatter about nothing at all and will miss his sigh of exasperation when I am now the one who talks his ear off.
And in knowing this, in knowing it is all fleeting and each moment is a gift, I stop and breathe deep knowing these are the moments, no matter how hard or easy, when woven together are creating a beautiful tapestry.