Maybe it was the late arriving curriculum that put that pit right there in the center of my stomach.
I don’t know.
All I know is that somehow, over the summer, my oldest daughter is now only 10 1/2 inches shorter than my 5’11”.
She is all smiles about this,
Her small, downy head used to fit in the palm of my hand while her toes curled into the crook of my elbow. That’s all I needed – one arm to support all 9 pounds of her and when did she unfurl into all arms and legs and emotions? There are times when it feels like the whole of me can’t be enough.
The pictures are all over Facebook and Instagram, those “first day of school” pictures with rosy cheeks and nervous smiles and brand new clothes and backpacks with zippers that are working. Even the homeschoolers join in the fun.
Only this year, I sat there shocked.
When did all of these children hit middle school? And high school? Even the sweet babies are now in kindergarten.
I’m on my porch in the early morning light this past Tuesday, putting food in the dog dish and I hear my name being called. Sleepy smiles greet me as they walk to middle school and these faces on the other side of the fence used to be so much younger. They used to be small.
When we started at Madison House just over 4 years ago this past August, the ones who spend their days in High School were the same ages as Lyla and Olivia are now.
I’m sure I only blinked.
I used to inwardly groan when I heard the saying,
Enjoy it. It goes by so fast.
Only, a full decade plus of diapers feels slow moving in the middle of it, until the littlest one finally decides that she’s a big girl who will do big girl things and while the Costco bill seems a bit lighter, I felt a certain wonder when I looked at Tony Saturday night and marveled: we bought diapers for 10 years and now we’re done.
How did a decade go by that fast?
The leaves are beginning to turn golden around the edges and I find myself beginning to understand.
There is an ache in this mothering that I didn’t even think of in those days of dreaming of these days before life ever lit up the dark spaces within me.
I’m sure I still don’t understand it, and maybe I never will, but it’s those leaves that Jesus is using to turn my eyes on to Him.
The years are growing shorter, no matter how much I long for it all to slow, but in the midst of vibrant life, it’s the glowing, golden edges whispering of one season moving on to the next that is causing a tendering within me:
Let’s not rush around the table,
let’s linger over spelling lists and math problems and science experiments.
Let’s read one more chapter in our read aloud because all of us snuggled together on the couch has us asking questions and imagining the sights and sounds of a time long passed.
Where there are struggles, let’s slow and breathe and ask one another how we can give God glory right here in this moment where we want to give up, and then laugh, because the sound of someone blowing their nose really and truly is funny.
My little notebook has stayed closer than ever this past week. September comes and Fall’s air already feels so different.
I don’t want to miss the wonder of them, or this life that God has so graciously given to us.
I want to remember these days when only 10 1/2 inches separated my oldest girl and me.
31. Psalm 107
32. His Hope that lifts my eyes
33. Acts 14:22 ~ What my words should do
34. Slow dancing in the kitchen with Zee
35. The last of the farm fresh eggs
36. Clouds that whisper of Fall
38. Rain that fell through the night
39. A boy and his dog all curled up in sleep
40. Quiet hush before everyone wakes
41. Psalm 106
42. Isaiah 40:11
43. Apple muffins baking.