Monday, August 24, 2009

The End of Summer

I'm a little giddy in my soul from this morning, high from the rush of love and exuberance I shared with Ben during our end-of-summer celebration. These moments when I get him all to myself are so rare, so precious. I can listen fully, watch completely, absorb every detail of his person and world without distraction--no eyes darting to make sure his sister isn't about to careen headfirst into something hard or sharp, no interruptions, no refereeing.

Just being. Together.

We squeezed every second of fun out of our morning together at the near-empty, carnival-esque park. We bounded from ride to ride with utter abandon. We didn't have to bother with lines, with long boring speeches about keeping our hands and legs inside the vehicles, with the disappointment that a ride was coming to an end. If Ben wanted to ride again, we rode again, smiling and laughing until our cheeks ached. I think we tried every ride a four year old is permitted to enjoy. It was two hours of unhurried, unfettered, unabashed delight.

Now he is sleeping soundly in his room, his body worn from the sensory rush. And I am savoring the moments in my mind, sipping the warmth of them slowly, deliberately. He heads back to school Wednesday, off to master more of his world in the insatiable way he has when it comes to learning. Our days will fall back into the comforting routines of fall, and Abby and I will fill our mornings with our own adventures. It is all good.

But the time shared today will remain seared in my heart as a reminder of all that is wondrous about the relationship with a child, about the new eyes we receive when we enter into the world with them, through them. I need to open them more, these eyes, from places other than the kitchen or car or store. The world is a thrilling place when I look, when I break the grown-up inertia of to-do's to share the view with my darlings.

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