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I had a visit with my landlady this morning.  We discussed plans for the garden that the Cottage and the Big House share.  Our conversation strayed into positive thinking, diets and the future.  We talked about Kelsea and how awesome she is now, at 13.  My landlady told me that she felt that way about her own daughter at that age.  Then things changed.  You never expect it to happen, but one day that girl who you so like, admire, and enjoy hanging out with becomes a completely different, unrecognizable and noxious person.  I so want to believe that won’t happen to Kelsea.  She and I have talked about it often.  I guess the bottom line is to hope for the best and expect the worst.  And remember, if it happens, that this too shall pass.

What brought tonight’s post to the forefront, aside from this morning’s conversation, was a small thing that happened this afternoon.  Kelsea had a friend over to visit.  The three of us ran around doing errands for a couple of hours and then the two of them had an hour to pass until it was time for her friend to go home.  They played with the Poppy, the Big House pug, for a long while, and hung out on the grass talking.  Then they asked if they could go over to the church side of the fence and visit the playground. 

After about fifteen minutes, I looked out to check on them.  They were soaring high in the sky in their respective swings and the sun was heading down below the trees, casting a soft, hazy light on the scene.  I felt like I was looking at two little girls – two little girls who were fading into the sunset.  The innocence and small joys of being young were being swallowed by the emotions, hormones and pressures of adolescence, just as the sun was being swallowed by the horizon.  But for just that moment, all that mattered was laughing, and swinging as high as they could go.

I wished for a minute (or more) that they didn’t have to lose that, to let it go, to focus on the challenges of growing up.  But you always want your child to grow up – the alternative is unthinkable.  And in my mind, there is a comfort: that when Kelsea becomes a mom, she will regain and relive all that joy and childlike wonder through the eyes and smiles of her own child.

June 2021
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