Yesterday was day two of school for Felicity. I
ordered the big kids to load up for the pool. It worked so nicely Wednesday
that I was ready to do it again – whether they wanted to or not.
Since most of the world is back in school, we had the pool
to ourselves for the first thirty minutes. The lifeguard let the boys get into
the swim fins and off they went. Mackenzie grabbed a towel and headed for her
favorite sunning spot. I started swimming.
When I finished, I was worn out so I joined Mackenzie. The
boys were having the time of their lives discovering the world of fins. By this
time, two other families had joined us and were a nice distraction as well.
I stretched out on the chair and just lay there quietly. It
felt so indulgent…just sitting. After some much needed silence, I started a
conversation with Mackenzie. We chatted about her upcoming birthday and her
sweet sixteen next year. We discussed her new partner for Social and what she’d
be doing as a Cotillion Club member. We watched a black and gold salamander
crawl across the deck.
I don’t remember what, if anything, prompted it, but she
asked me, “Mama, when you were my age, what stars did everyone love? Who did
you think was cute?”
I was immediately transported back to middle school when I
was head-over-heals in love with Kirk Cameron. Growing Pains
was my favorite
show, he was just about the right age for me and I was convinced that he was as
nice a guy as his character, Mike Seaver.
Before I knew it, it was time to leave. “This has been so
fun and relaxing,” I told Mackenzie. Our time together had only been about
thirty minutes, but those thirty minutes felt like hours because we had slowed
down and spent some quality time together. I loved, loved, loved the fact that
I had just carried on a conversation with my daughter that she could have had
with one of her friends.
Later in the day, as I was dwelling on what a wonderful
morning it had been, I thought back to the summer before Mackenzie started
Kindergarten. I signed the boys up for a summer Mother’s Day Out program because
I felt my time with Mackenzie slipping away. I had a strong need to spend some
one-on-one time with her.
It occurred to me that these few weeks that Felicity is in
school before the big kids go back, is that same kind of opportunity. What an
unexpected gift I’ve been given. Though I’ve been with the kids ALL summer,
it’s been time that’s divided between watching Felicity, keeping up with the
house and laundry, grocery shopping, running errands and the like.
I know that years from now, the kids will remember me like
that – frantically getting meals on the table and kids out the door, constantly
folding laundry and cleaning house. However, I hope and pray what they hold in
their hearts is not that side of me, but the side Mackenzie got at the pool -
the mama who is very interested in everything they have to say, very proud of
all of their accomplishments (even how fast they can swim underwater and
backwards with fins on), and very much in love with who they are.
Here’s to making more of those memories.