My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grasping at Time With my Kids

Today I registered my son for kindergarten. He's become such a little boy. No more baby, toddler, any of that. Just a little guy. He's so darling and clever and kind and helpful and stubborn. I don't want to forget a drop of it because they seem to change so fast. Today at school, I thought of the days when I registered each of my other kids. Some I could remember better than others, and I felt almost panicky. It's getting away from me. Not just the actual events, but the memories. And I write this stuff all the time, but it's still so elusive. A sliver of time in a child's life is such a beautiful, pure thing. Why aren't we allowed to carry that memory sharp and clear? Why can't I, every day of my life, recall the exact feeling of those chubby arms around my neck and sloppy kisses? Haven't I earned it? This mom business is hard. It's stressful and uncertain and as much as I love it, it's so tough and emotional. I'd give anything to bottle up those moments for when I most need them. Anything.

My eleven-year-old who rolls her eyes at everything I do used to tell me I was beautiful. I understand the change and welcome her growth and independence, but for a moment, I'd love to hear that little voice again. My ten-year-old has shot up in height and is beginning to slump a little,to hide this new height, the same girl who just a few months ago adored her reflection in the mirror. Preen and prance a bit more for me, my dear, you're so beautiful and perfect just the way you are, as you've always been. And my seven-year-old son who used to grab for my hand everywhere. Now it's buried deep in his pocket, cruel discouragement for a mom who might forget he's a mature first grader now. And my little five-year-old, well, I've already filled your ears with him. He still kisses, holds my hand, tells me I'm beautiful, and thinks he's king of the world. Magical, miracle five.

Don't get me wrong. I have no desire to stunt their growth, keep them home forever, or discourage their independence. I want all this to happen because I know it's the only healthy way to go, but I yearn to remember it. Every drop.

And it's not just the things they say, but HOW they say them. The way my little one pats my cheek when he's telling me a long story. The way it feels when my 6th grader sometimes comes and rubs my back while I'm typing. And even when my seven-year-old takes a running leap onto my bed and me and I fuss, I shouldn't. I should grab those skinny arms and hold on for dear life. Because one day I'll wake up and see all those little things are the big things.

So when you get tired of my Kathy Lee Gifford-like droning about my children, forgive me. I'm trying to capture the moments.


Diane said...

I never tire of it Donna. You help me remember to take the time to value my own sweeties. Thank you.

Dorothy said...

Such a short time ago, I jumped in my Toyota van and beelined to my dtr's, 8 hrs away. She'd just had my first grandchild. He had rubber ears I told him when he was two to five yrs old. Like my F&B baby doll did when I was his age. It's hard to tell him that now that he's almost twenty two, but he doesn't seem to mind. I'm a grandmother, after all. He can accept me treating him like I once did. It's different with grandchildren. What they won't take from parents they will with grandparents. So, Donna. Just wait. You'll have it all over again in not too many years. Just start programming them to not move across the country when they get married, so you can be close enough to hold those babies.

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman