Wednesday, May 17, 2017


  * A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017*

Matteo: Today is your last day to be four.  I have been thinking a lot about how to prolong the day, to make it count.  I let you dig around in the spice cupboard for ingredients to add to your increasingly complex “potions.”  I didn’t stop you from filling the sink with water until it overflowed and made a huge mess on the floor.  I even helped you use the hair dryer to dry the coins you had “washed” from your coin collection, because I could see that it was important to your four year old self.  Life with you is always fast, but I wish I could slow these memories down, crystallize their process somehow.  Last week, you broke open an unremarkable looking geode and were thrilled by the sparking crystals hiding inside.  I tried to explain the process, how it happens slowly over time, but you were already filling the pool with water and excited about splashing through the mud.  Slow is just not in your vocabulary as you jump, yell, climb, invent and experiment your way through life.  You have always been a rocket, the word we chose a couple years back to explain how different children have different temperaments.  “Some kids are trees and some are rockets,” I tried to simplify.  You still use this metaphor when you tell me about a new friend you’ve made at preschool or at the park: “He’s a rocket, Mama!”  I haven’t felt this panic before, this need to keep you little.  I was always excited to watch you grow and develop, hoping that new transitions would ease some of your unbridled energy and intensity.  Suddenly, I find myself here.  Tomorrow, you will be five, and this year will be a significant one, as you transition into school age.  “Wait, slow down, you are too big now,” I want to say, and I feel for the first time that ache of motherhood, brought on by the realization that childhood is both fragile and fleeting.  I suspect that you will always move quickly, burning energy like rocket fuel.  You will probably always prefer to run than to walk.  Someday, though, I hope you will remember that your Mama tried to make your childhood at least a little like those slow-forming crystals: grown with love and patience over time to reveal something beautiful. 

Lilah:  Your brother broke open some little geodes today and you happily scooped them up and carried them around for the rest of the afternoon.  You used your "I'm trying to show you something really important" face, as you held up your treasures and proudly repeated "rwot rwot rwot." (rock rock rock.)

No comments:

Post a Comment