Heidi’s closet is getting revamped with clothes that don’t fit Hailey anymore. This means that Hailey’s closet is slowly gaining more room until we buy her new clothes to compensate for the ones she has lost to Heidi. I was arranging their closets the other day and realized that a lot of Hailey’s clothes have become too small and have to be passed down to Heidi.
These are the moments that make you aware that growth is happening. If the fact that they don’t need you to spoon feed them anymore, that they wash their hands before sitting down to eat without being told, that they don’t soil themselves or have small ‘accidents’ here and then, that they go to Sunday school willingly, without a fight (as was previously the case here) and stay there until mass is over before coming to find you – If these fact somehow don’t catch your eye, then you thankfully have the clothes that stop fitting to jolt you to that glaring reality.
But my Heidi sweetly thinks that the same way clothes become small after a while is the same way, they become bigger for a bigger person to wear. So when Hailey makes a face because she doesn’t like the idea of passing down her favorite skirt, Heidi is quick to console her saying “Usijali Hailey. Ikikuwa kubwa nitakupatia, sawa?”
I am glad that this growth is happening right before my eyes. I get to experience some things for the first time since this is the first school holiday that we are spending together entirely. Previously, all the time I could afford was a smidgen just before they closed their eyes to sleep or very early in the morning when they woke up, if they woke up early to catch me before I went to work. There was also the weekend option of a Saturday afternoon, and the whole of Sunday (God bless Sunday!) Things are different now in the sense that I am present. I am doing everything for my children from the time they wake up to the time they go back to sleep.
I am cooking for them, giving them baths. I am disciplining them, scolding them for not answering when I call them and admonishing them for not sharing their toys. I am also learning in the process. Learning to be patient with their young exploring minds. I am also learning to write and read amidst the noise. I am learning that children can play endlessly without tiring (the energy, my goodness!) especially now that schools are closed. I am learning to expect an unexpected kiss from Heidi when I am helping her get dressed. And I am loving it! I am learning to accept a helping hand from Hailey when she offers to do the dishes. And not to tear up when she does a jaw-dropping job. I am watching them eat, play, and sleep. I am watching them grow. I am watching them watch me and emulate me.
Under my watchful eyes, my children blossom.
It doesn’t escape my mind that these moments will never come back. This is it. I am living for the moment because who knows… tomorrow there may be no kiss from Heidi. She might have gone to college, got married or relocated to another continent. And I will think of that kiss, crave it, but it will be gone. So, yeah, I will have one kiss to the cheek now, this moment, before it is taken away from me, thankyouverymuch!
As I put them to bed every night, I know that this is it. This is what their childhood will read like in their books. As I cook their favorite meal, I am fully aware that the smell of the food wafting from the kitchen to fill the whole house will be picked by their nostrils in their adult life and it will bring them down memory lane to this very moment of their childhood.
These are the moments. And these little moments are a big deal. It’s the little moments that make life big, innit?
I was just reading about the Cherry Blossom, a white flower with a tinge of pink at the base. These flowers are, apparently, Japan’s unofficial National Flower. Why doesn’t our country have a National Flower, woiye? Cherry Blossoms symbolize a bright future. In full bloom, they are a sight to behold with the trees taking the appearance of a beautiful cloud from afar. There is in fact a Cherry Blossom viewing ceremony (Hanami) where people hold picnics underneath the tree, taking the chance to relax and take in the beautiful view. What do you know, it is in fact said that most people give the answer ‘Under a Cherry tree’ to the question, ‘Where would you like to get married?’ Though Cherry Blossoms are nothing short of tres magnifique in full bloom, they only last a week or ten days tops before all the blossoms are carried away by the wind. Ten days and it’s all over. So even with all these hurly-burly surrounding its bloom, the Cherry Blossom, in all its glory and splendor lasts for ten meagre days.
|The Cherry Blossom Flower
(Photo courtesy of Fanpop.com)
|The Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington DC
(Photo Courtesy of Mediagallery.usatoday.com)
It is therefore referred to as a brief burst of the beauty of nature. A brief burst. I don’t think that anything better defines the ephemeral nature of life. Nothing lasts forever; Not the Cherry Blossom, nor childhood. Some things are here to be enjoyed for a moment. My children will soon cease being children. Every moment I can spend with them, I am grabbing now. What I will do is spread out that picnic blanket; stuff a basket full of picnic snacks and goodies. Then I will sit down with them under this spectacular ‘childhood’ tree. We will all make the best of it while it lasts. While the childhood clothes still fit.
I challenge you to emulate the Cherry Blossom. Burst forth with splendour even if its just for a moment. Make that moment count. Enjoy that child, that relationship, that job, while you still can. Live a life of beauty and be present in the moment. Because when you think about it, that moment is essentially all you have. It will be gone before you know it.
Have a splendid week!