Now. Now is the time that is so precious. Certainly this is always true no matter the circumstances, but never is it so pronounced as when one watches one's children grow up. Last night Brent and I sat together watching the girls while dinner was cooking... Willow, 4, in her underwear singing made up songs and waving her dress like a flag, Grace, 14 months, practicing her walking and talking. The kitchen still had remnants of breakfast, there were paintings, clothes, and shoes all over the floor. In these times, when the children are so young, chaos reigns. One can't make coffee before it's time to change a diaper, settle a dispute, set up paints, or answer a million questions. Grace will stand and think about walking, then decide (again) to crawl. Willow learns new words constantly. The growth and change literally happens before our eyes. Then there are the milestones: the first word, the first step, the first drop-off at day care or preschool, kindergarten. Graduation from kindergarten. Then from elementary school, then middle, then high school, then college... children become adults, stop changing (at least externally) moment by moment. The heart breaks open, grows, finds a new equilibrium.
I've heard this quote often at our co-op preschool, but I don't know who said it: "The days are long but the years are short." Last night was one of those times when I could see that so clearly, could feel the unfolding of time and the fullness of the moment. Indeed, yes. The days are long, but the years are short.