SLOW - Children at Play

Welcome to the last week of summer vacation.

This week I am seeking ever-so-brief moments of silence and darkness before anyone realizes I’m awake, saying yes to ice cream for snack, breathing deeply and often, reading aloud the King Arthur stories on the screen porch, and reminding myself that:

-wide open doors through which flies and mosquitoes enter, and
-untidy bathrooms, and
-scissors gone missing, and
-scissors, once found, stuck together with banana Laffy Taffy, and
-discovery of random objects -- twine, an entire box of straws (box missing and every straw bent at its joint), a music stand half set-up, a yellow highlighter (lid missing), ten playing cards, a battle plan for the next episode of Star Wars, and footed pajamas -- on my kitchen floor, and
-candy wrappers under pillows, and
-fishing line strung through all the handles of the laundry room cupboards, and
-muddy handprints on the garage door, and
-hourly requests for food, and
-whining, fussing, arguing, and complaining, and
-Lego pieces everywhere, and
-hoses left on for hours, possibly for days, and
-cries of “He’s touching me!” “No, she’s touching me!” “No, he’s touching me first!” and
-being told, after scolding a child who shall remain unnamed for a transgression that shall remain undisclosed, “Mom, you’re not really comin’ to a point. You’re kinda rambling,” and then..... every once in a while......

-long, miraculous pockets of silence during which, as I prowl through the house on tiptoe, I find each child lost in a book, a puzzle, a drawing, a daydream, a nap,

are all signs that children live and play and grow and thrive here. Are all signs that I’m doing my job.


And all this reminds me of this poem by Cecilia Woloch:

Slow Children at Play

All the quick children have gone inside, called
by their mothers to hurry-up-wash-your-hands
honey-dinner’s-getting-cold, just-wait-till-your-father-gets-home
and only the slow children out on the lawns, marking off
paths between fireflies, making soft little sounds with their mouths, ohs
that glow and go out and glow. And their slow mothers, flickering,
pale in the dust, watching them turn in the gentle air, watching them
twirling, their arms spread wide, thinking, These are my children,
Where is there dinner? Where has their father gone?

Reminds me to sometimes be a slow mother. To sometimes flicker, and watch, and twirl. And wonder.

Enjoy every last bit of your summer.

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