Tonight I found Whitney in the playroom, on her knees, quietly arranging the doll house. Her back was to me, and I wistfully studied her long ponytail and her trendy Abercrombie tee as she continued, intently focused. Her long legs were curled up underneath her, and she happily played by herself like she has for as long as I can remember. I stopped from the doorway in the kitchen and watched her. She didn’t see me there at first, and I relished in the fact that she still adores her dolls, doll houses, and made-up games of “school” and “house”. As I stepped back to what I was doing, it wasn’t lost on me that in a year or two, she won’t be interested in this house anymore. In a few more years, Hadley will tire of it too. Eventually, it will end up at the Community Giving Toy Sale tucked under some table, dinged up with some scratches and well-loved from years of attention. Inevitably, a young preschooler will come along and convince her mother that she can’t live without it, and they’ll lug it out to their car and drive away. In our house, we’ll be on to rated PG-13 movies, that first cell phone, sleepovers galore, and discovering boys and crushes. Last night I admittedly felt overcome with a lingering sadness that time speeds along too quickly. The greatest wish I’ll always have is to be able to go back to the early years for just one day. And although this part of Whitney’s childhood is coming to a close, I feel joy for the girl she has become and I easily find cause to celebrate what a great run we’ve had so far.
It brings to mind my children’s favorite song that I sing to them (very off-key, mind you!) called THE CIRCLE GAME. If you don’t know it, you should listen to it sometime. It could easily be the official anthem of motherhood. Here is part of it:
Then, the child moved ten times ’round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, “When you’re older”, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams
And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came,
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
Have a great weekend!