One down, 12 to go

You have not added minutes to the hours of my days, but beauty to the moments of my life.

 

You have trained me to cherish, taught me to listen and slowed my rapid meandering to a wonderful crawl. I no longer dwell on the future; I look forward to the present. I absorb it like a suntan.

 

Or like a paper towels would soak puddles of juice your sippy cups leaked when you were 2.

 

Truth is, sharing life with you has also been a lesson in looking backward – and what a painful time in your classroom that was.

 

“Darn the wheel of the world!” Jack London wrote. “Why must it continually turn over?

 

“Where is the reverse gear?”

 

There is none. We’re captives on this ride. We can’t even slow it.

 

So I am nearly tormented by thoughts of the moments I did not cherish: days we did nothing, mornings you watched TV, evenings we didn’t check the bird feeder, ice cream cones we didn‘t share and smiles I did not absorb like a suntan. I know your mind doesn’t entertain these thoughts, which have on more than one morning brought tears to my eyes after leaving you at school.

 

Your big school. So big. When we moved to Greenwood, we’d drive by and I’d point it out.

 

“Look, Kalista,” I’d say. “That’s your big school.

 

“That’s where you’ll be going next year.”

 

I spoke of it as casually as death. I knew what was coming – the first step to the end of your childhood.

 

You’re probably still excited.

 

 I find solitude these days in the words of William Faulkner, who said “clocks slay time; time is dead as long as it is being clocked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”

 

In other words, we should not pay as much attention to time as we do. We should listen more. We should cherish.

 

Isn’t that what you’ve taught me already?

 

Congratulations on graduating kindergarten, Kalista.

 

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