Kindergarten looms just one week away. I have been asked frequently, “What ARE you going to do now?” – as if you perhaps envision me floating in the pool all day, cocktail in hand. Please rest assured that this is not my plan. Not that it’s an entirely unappealing option, but I will be volunteering at school. I have signed up for a new Bible study. I am going to be running all the same errands I always have. Like getting groceries – although presumably without the kiddie-gambling excitement of the Buddy Buck machine. I will go to the post office and the bank, but the odd paper clip or penny spotted on the ground there will just stay on the ground, instead of being snatched up as treasure. No one will run to the window when the trash truck comes. I could go running, for exercise, and I will – but I doubt it will be as much fun as my recent sprints after a surprisingly fast new scooter on the way to the park.
In fact, what I suspect will be noticeably lacking from these new hours of “freedom” is what made the days of these preschool years so wonderful – the glorious and simple joy that children, including my own sweet boys, rather unassumingly possess. They live in the moment very naturally. Their days are full of discovery and wonder, even at what the rest of us consider inconsequential. (Look how tall I built these blocks! This is a great stick I just found! Ooh, wow, a snail!!) It’s a really lovely way to look at life, and I am so thankful to have seen the world daily through the eyes of my young boys all these years. I am glad I was there, on the other side of the seesaw, riding along on the carousel, helping build the forts of empty boxes. Someday they may not remember these carefree days, but I always will.
All along I knew it wouldn’t last forever. One day at lunch, I looked across the kitchen table at a charming two-year-old – who is now a tall, sporty third-grader – and the word “ephemeral” popped in my head. As in, this precious little boy is just for today. He will grow up. And he did, and so did his little brother. I didn’t ever agree to that, but I sure have enjoyed who they have been all along the way, and what they have taught me about appreciating the now. Kindergarten beckons, the next chapter for him, and for me. Undoubtedly there will be much to enjoy about this new “now,” but I know, with a heavy heart, that it just won’t be the same. So, to answer your question, I am going to stay busy. But I am going to miss him. And I am going to miss being on the other side of the seesaw. The view was priceless.