Reflecting and preparing

Ashley and Morgan; then and now

Ashley and Morgan; then and now

It was that time of day when things are getting quiet everywhere.

Outside, the birds are seeking a place to roost, traffic slows down in the neighborhood and people begin to go indoors to settle in for the day.

From where I am sitting, I can see palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, but I can no longer see the streak of sunlight across my dining room floor; the same streak that Ayda found her shadow in when they were here just three long days ago.

I remember watching her quietly, not wanting to spoil the moment.  She would find it and pounce, trying to catch it, and then look for it again, line her little body up just right and try again.  The ever elusive shadow kept her busy for several minutes, an eternity for a toddler.  I remember thinking, “Enjoy this, Nana….capture this moment in your mind’s photo shop so you can enjoy it when they’re gone”.

And way too quickly, they were.  I fought back the tears as I leaned in to kiss her goodbye.  She was already strapped in nice and snugly in her car seat.  Away they drove, leaving me with an ache in my heart that felt like a brass fist clenched tightly around it.

Oh, and it wasn’t only Ayda.  My eldest waved from the car window, her blonde hair bouncing around her shoulders; the hair I used to put in pony tails, pig tails and bows, which she always fought me over.

Her husband and my youngest shared the front seat.  My baby, my youngest (wasn’t she in diapers yesterday?!?) was driving for the first leg of the journey.  The days of Barbie jeeps, speeding up and down our street until the batteries died, are long gone for this nostalgic mother.

Little Sis heading to her Big sister’s home in New Orleans for a visit that will wrap up the remainder of her last Spring Break as a high school student.  Spending Spring Break together is a tradition with them that I hope they keep.

Yes, this house is eerily quiet and lifeless (except for me of course).  And all of the things I thought I would do when I got the time, the solitude, and the silence are left waiting.  It seems I don’t have the motivation to do them today.  I look forward to my husband’s footsteps on the porch to break the silence and his kiss when he comes inside.

I’m glad that I always told my girls that as important as they are, one day they would leave and begin their own lives, leaving dad and I alone.  And for this reason, they must not complain when we spent quality, child-free time together; time spent nurturing our relationship so that when we were alone one day, we’d have invested wisely and be able to draw from that.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Mitch Teemley

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