Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,
Your birthday card is not going to arrive on time.  This afternoon, after naps, I had the kids clothed and in shoes (which, I assure you, is a bigger accomplishment than it seems like it is) and we were really ready to walk to the park and drop your birthday letter in mailbox on the way.  Noah was playing in the cupboards (he managed to open a bottle of maple syrup but with cat-like reflexes I grabbed it after he only got one swig) I turned around and this is what I saw (pay no attention to the laundry all over the room--it was laundry day).

She was sitting in the rocking snail, singing to herself, talking to herself and watching the drapes blow in the breeze. And just before I went to rush her out the door I stopped because I was struck with just how fleeting youth is.  Claire is 3.  She doesn't have that many more years to sit and watch the drapes blow in the breeze.  This past week my social media feeds have been over run with pictures of beaming children as they set off for their first day of school.  My heart ached a little and a personal parenting insecurity reared its ugly head.  We are not sending Claire to preschool this year.  We're doing a coop preschool with a couple of friends and next year she'll go to 1/2 day preschool at a school in town.  I just decided that I wasn't ready to give her up yet.  I am not ready to rush her out the door and make her keep a schedule.  I stay at home with my kids so I can stay at home with my kids.

And as all those thoughts were running through my head Claire, while rocking back and forth in her little snail, piped up and said, "Some day I'm going to go to college."

I agreed.

She then questioned, "Are there colleges here?"

I told her that there were but there were colleges all over the world and she could pick any of them.  She though about it for a minute and then said, "It just will be what I do when I grow up but I don't know what I want to do when I grow up." {she understands that college and what you do for a living are connected but there is still some question there}

I told her she could be anything she wanted.  She then started listing possibilities which included 1) drive a car and be a helper 2) Climb trees and bring a rope to people who don't have ropes and 3) go all over the world picking flowers.

And that's it.  That's the reason your birthday card won't be there on time--because we talked about college and what she wants to do when she grows up and she sat in her snail for a half an hour watching the breeze blow the curtains.  And some time later (after the final mail pick-up) when we did make our way to the park....I just...I wish you could have seen it.  She was with her friend Ohana and they were on bikes and the weather was perfect and the light had that long golden quality that you can only find in the fall {never mind that just a few moments later she flew over her handle bars trying to follow Ohana up a curb--she was fine}.  I watched her little legs pumping trying to keep up, face a mix of terror and joy as they zoomed down the hills

 and I just loved her was gold*.

So I'm sorry.  But not that sorry.

Your letter should arrive on Monday.

Happy Birthday.

*Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.


  1. So baby has grown up and given me new babies to love...thank you for being so thoughtful and careful with them.

    Of course, you did the right thing, and your writing is so perfect. This entry is just a gorgeous poem to love...I love you Mom