A little moment today.
A single moment.
I spent the afternoon and evening at the girls’ school.
A celebration of the end of the school year and of . . . an end.
The girls’ school is being shut down.
Maj is headed off to Junior High next year.
Kallan is headed off to a new Elementary school.
It was a lovely event . . . music and dancing and pizza and snow cones and games and balloons and speeches.
Joyful melancholy chaos.
I spent some time wandering the school’s halls, looking at all of the displays of artwork and writing and class-work. Talking to some of the other parents about their plans for the summer. Talking to some of the teachers about their plans for the future.
One large table was covered with binders, one for each class. The binders contained photos of all of the children and letters they have each written . . . for a time capsule to be buried on the school grounds. The letters detailed the children’s fondest memories of their school and their visions of the future. Each letter had the home address of the author printed on the back, and when the time capsule is opened, these letters will be sent to the children’s families.
A lovely idea, but I couldn’t help wondering where we will be in ten years.
Whether these letters will ever find us.
Ten years is such a long time away
So much life to be lived in these next ten years.
It was difficult to imagine the future . . . Maj and Kallan’s letters and photos were so clearly Maj and Kallan right this moment.
My daughters . . . right this moment.
I love this moment right here.
This version of my daughters.
Hard to imagine another version.
So I felt disconnected from the whole notion of the time capsule.
I turned away.
I turned away and into the past.
I was staring at a photo of Maj.
Part of a larger collection of photographs of all the 6th graders . . . a guessing game . . . match the baby photos to the big kids they have become.
Maj stared back at me . . . six months old.
Wispy blond hair, round pudgy cheeks, sparkly blue eyes. Her ears all elfin, her smile mischievous. Her chubby hands reaching for the ivy of our then backyard.
The photo was taken not long before our first Christmas as a family.
I stare at baby Maj.
How can that have been more than 11 years ago?
It’s not possible.
I remember picking out that sweater. I remember how she liked the ridges of the knit, how she used to trace the lines with her tiny pointer fingers. I remember how she liked the hood . . . hood on, hood off, hood on, hood off.
I remember its soft pink color.
I remember the weight of Maj in that sweater as I carried her. I remember the heft of her against my hip. Hood on, hood off, hood on, hood off.
I stare at baby Maj.
I remember feeling then that the future was impossibly far away . . . that I would be this baby’s mother forever . . . just like this.
I can smell her. I can feel her soft warm skin against mine. I can hear her crazy giggle.
It is as though time has collapsed.
My arms and my hip and my heart ache to hold baby Maj.
Tears well in my eyes but I cannot look away . . . Maj melts and drifts and distorts as my vision clouds.
I swipe at my eyes.
Maj stands before me . . . 12 years old and impossibly gorgeous and self-assured.
I cannot breathe.
“I’m going to ride my bike home with my friend, alright? We’re going to her house first, so I will be home in a while.”
“See you later, Mother!”
I watch Maj walk away, and then she suddenly turns and runs back to me.
Pulls her sweater from my arms, “It’s getting colder. I should probably take my sweater.”
Blue sweater. Zipper.
I watch her pull it on as she walks away.
She pulls it free of her long blond hair.
I stand there for a moment.
In between moments.
A moment between.
Waiting for the next moment to arrive.
The next moment and what it brings.
Don’t forget to click on Danielle’s Psychophant link!
She did it!
She got 50 new people to like Pretty All True’s Facebook fan page!
Her hilarious video link is up at the top of the page with her awesome photo.