So what is it about the summer that makes the kids grow?
Clearly, there’s the sun, the sky, the gobs of fresh air. But there’s also the fact that summer was made for childhood, and inherently a child knows they must rise to the occasion. As they rise they have this way of growing like rows of emerald corn. Bright. Tall. Wholesome. Sweet. They stretch to the sky before our eyes.
This summer My Blessing grew into the pureness and fullness of seven. She grew into books and adventure and a love for testing the laws of nature.
God’s Promise grew into one. Leaving baby days behind a little more each day she embraced the wonders of a toddler’s world. She grew into words, and slides, and big attempts, despite her little size, to do just what her sisters do.
And Hope…oh, my Hope Girl… As the heat of summer fades, Hope’s days of being four are dipping below the horizon like a shining sliver of orange sun.
I remember this moment when My Blessing was about to turn five. How the hot arrow of realization struck me and singed my heart with knowing that My Blessing, age four, was about to be gone forever. Never to be seen or known again.
And now here I am with Hope savoring her fourness. Savoring her suckin’ fingers, and golden hair. Her faithful friend Froggy and twirling dresses. Her Barbies, and dolls, and princessy, glittery, has to be every-shade-of-PINK-under-the-sun-things.
Her tiny wisp of a voice.
Her heart that beats for Daddy.
Her half-pint size still not quite too heavy to pick up and squeeze and hold.
And I know these things won’t leave completely as she flutters her wings into five. But five brings us ever closer to that dreaded precipice. To that place and time when Barbies and dolls and dresses that twirl will lose the fight to friends, and make-up, and dresses that twirl boys’ heads.
“Mommy, what are you doing to me?” She said with half a giggle and half a groan.
“I’m memorizing you,” I said. “I know I’m going to fall head over heels in love with Hope, age five, but boy am I going to miss, My Hope Girl, age four.”
To this she simply smiled, grabbed her Froggy, and rolled over, ready for the sweetest of dreams.
And, sure, she can roll her eyes and shake her head over her crazy mama. (Two gestures of appreciation, I am sure, have only just begun…) Of course she doesn’t get it. She doesn’t understand. But someday….
Someday God’s Message of Hope, age 34, will sit on the edge of a bed. She’ll look long and deep into eyes that look just like her own and she’ll know.
Mama wasn’t crazy. These days ARE fleeting and few.
Each one a masterpiece, a summer sunset.
Created, given, and meant to be savored.