Wednesday, October 7th 2015 – 7:03am
I’m holding my 4 y/o daughter’s hand as we walk to the bus stop. Actually, she holds my three of my fingers, and there is no feeling like it in the world. It’s early, the air is crisp and the sun is sparkling through the green leaves now tinged with fall flame colors. I step back in my mind’s eye, incredulous that I even *have* a daughter, bemused that I am even a Mom. And with that comes the sobering knowledge that today could be my turn to have my child gunned down at school, as is now customary in our country because you know; Guns. (!)
Every moment is precious and my knees get weak with the recognition of how lucky we are to be alive and all the health and love and “security” and beauty we have.
My daughter posits some baloney that her legs are “tired of walking” and wants to be carried. That’s fine because carrying a child means walking in a HUG. Now I am carrying this most pricelessly prized possession down the street like a trophy, the curve of her perfectly smooth plump cheek next to my own cheek. I get to turn and kiss it at will. It is so juicy and delicious… it is the most juicy and delicious thing I have ever kissed. How fleeting our lives.
Before I pick her up I pull fruit from my pocket and ask her to hold it because it’s a perfectly ripe pear and we wouldn’t want it to get squished. She bites into its juiciness, slurping by my ear and I explain we will have to come up with SOMETHING to do with that pear.
“EAT IT!” She proclaims, obviously . Silly Mom!
“Oh!” I say, “Good idea.” She takes another bite, more slurping. “OK now that we have a plan,” I continue, “We’ll have to figure out WHEN we should eat that pear.”
“RIGHT NOW!!” She blurts out in a slightly cracked, crazed, totally hilarious voice. It’s the kind of perfect moment with a child that cannot be measured or explained, makes everything worth it and is why we have children.
I’m still drinking in the moment when the bus pulls up. “PURPLE DRAGON!” she exclaims. We weren’t even at the bus stop yet -having dallied to smell both the red AND violet flowers on the way- but the bus driver saw us and stopped for us right there. She scurries down me and clambers up the stairs in the bus. I did not remind her that food is not allowed on the bus, nor mention to the bus driver the very delectable, juicy, messy piece of contraband in her possession.
“Her brother?” asks the bus driver.
“Beg your pardon?” I say, not hearing what he said.
“Her brother?” he repeated.
“Oh him,” I demurred, “He’s not on my radar right now.”
Just kidding. I told him the truth; that Gavin was biking to school with Daddy for National Bike-to-School day. What a nice bus driver, right? This was actually ClaraJane’s first day riding the bus without her brother, by her choice. Smart girl, right? What a treat it was to walk with just one child.
The fleeting pricelessness of it all makes me weak in the knees. I wipe away tears of humility and beg God’s mercy. I cannot ask to be spared tragedy, because we are not special. Everyone is special, and no one escapes loss. Just not today please. Not today or tomorrow or any foreseeable day. Some OTHER day, ok? Some time out of sight and mind and not of this world. Pretty please with sugar on top and Grace all around, Amen.
I am neither Christian, religious nor atheist. I believe in the validity AND the folly of all religions, though I do live in a church. For lack of a better word I say Amen. So may it be.
Bless us. Thank you. THANK YOU (Universe, Spirit, luck, chance, God). Amen.