Five Mothers' Days ago Al and I snuggled alone in this same bed and I unwrapped his gift to me of a carefully-selected diaper bag. We were expecting Bean then. Now, in the blink of an eye, she's confidently toting that same diaper bag for me as our sweet baby Peabody rides along through our daily life merrily perched on my hip.
Next year we'll have a nearly six year old and a full-fledged toddler. And then. Well, then we'll be impatiently listening for their cars in our driveway, delivering them from their own homes far away from us. A Mothers' Day visit, perhaps, and then just the two of us again.
I watched my neighbor Rosemarie wave her youngest daughter down the street last night, her beautiful high school senior and our favorite babysitter, a princess with her prince, off to the Prom for the last time. She stared after them for a long time and turned back to her front door. And in turning she stopped and looked over at me as I sat in my chair on the driveway, watching my own daughter pedal her tricycle over the sidewalk between our homes.
"Oh, I wish she were still that age," she sighed, shaking her head slowly. I smiled back sadly with the deepest sense of understanding and no small amount of my own wistfulness. And as Rosemarie closed her door against the chilly evening, I called Bean to me, lifted her to my lap, buried my nose and lips in her hair and wrapped my arms so tightly around her they were nearly doubled.
I must find a way to enjoy time's steady and unstoppable march, or being a mother is going to break this heart of mine.
James Taylor, singing one of my all-time favorites, The Secret of Life. Hope you have time to give it a listen with the people you love best.