Monday, June 29, 2015

Childhood Is A Short Season













"Childhood is a short season." -Helen Hayes

These are just a few snippets of the beautiful year we have been having so far. Writing those words...'beautiful year'....cuts me and brings tears to my eyes, because I am living each day in such division since my mother passed last August. There is the sweet beauty of my outer world: of my bustling, pretty home, spilling over with Legos; the sing-song of my son's voice asking questions, laughing, singing, complaining, demanding, explaining the world through his eyes, telling me he loves me 'more than there are things;' the daily rhythms of coffee, toast, dog-walking, nature and bird-song, laundry, dishes, friends, groceries, play-dates, meals, bed-time with sleepy cuddles and books in the blue-yellow glow of a globe lamp. And then there is the visceral pain, the choking-on-tears sadness, the inner explosions of desperation at the realization that I cannot bring her back, I cannot change this, this is what I must live with now. Living each day in this divide is still strange, but it is becoming more familiar the longer I live it.

As Helen Hayes says, "Childhood is a short season," and this knowledge, which feels almost like a threat, like a bitter truth, keeps me as firmly planted in gratitude for the every-day as much as possible. This time is fleeting. This time of chlorine and ice cream, sunscreen, scraped knees, a stick-sword, swings and footballs, watching Tom and Jerry under a fluffy comforter while drinking cocoa through a straw, hair still wet from the blow-up pool in the yard; a belly round and sticking out unapologetically, sticky popsicle juice running down fingers, shouting and singing and jumping from high-up places; one moment Super Hero, the next moment curling up in Mama's lap and stroking her arm, needing me and still so small.

Rafael, Mama is so sad sometimes, Mama misses her own Mama, Mama feels lonely and abandoned. Who will love me and call me and check up on me; be concerned, care, and bare witness to the weavings and highlights and tragedies and victories of my life? This was all my Mother; she was difficult and wonderful. She annoyed me and delighted me. She read my blog religiously, she commented on my Facebook posts; she called and wrote and loved watching Rafael grow up. She was a cheerleader, my biggest fan. She saw so much good in me, and wanted to see me flourish and live to my fullest potential. This is all missing now.

But now I am that for you, Rafael. I am your Mama. I am your biggest fan. I annoy you and delight you, I am difficult and wonderful. I will cheer you on, I will remind you all the time how awesome you are. I will watch your life and destiny unfold, I will be here for you as long as I can. I will be concerned, I will care. I will see the good in you, and will help you flourish any way I can.

Childhood is a short season, and I will not let it slip by. I will celebrate each day with you, my boy. Yes I will be sad, I will miss and I will feel that cutting loss. But, my boy, I've got you, and you've got me. And that's more than I could ever ask for.

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful, wonderful post dearest Dawn. I ache for your sadness. You know that I understand a little of what you are going through, and I so feel for you. But life has a way of going on, and what better illustration of that than your gorgeous, innocent and sensitive little boy...at the very beginning of his adventures. Beautiful photographs too xoxo hugs

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  2. I adore your writing and your photography. And I think the very same things when I look at my boys playing and running and screaming and jumping. It's so bittersweet to know how fleeting things are and also know how precious they are.

    May God ease some of your pain this year.

    Raquel

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  3. Oh my girl!
    Such beauty and honesty in these words and images of yours. Such conflicted happiness and sadness, all at once. At the end of the day, that is how life works... and I think, those that can find the joy among the sadness, truly get to live life to the very fullest.
    I think of you so often. I wish I could wrap you in a big hug, and let our babies run off to do all those things together (that you so beautifully) described.
    On a side note, Noah was looking at your pictures on this post (he was on my lap) and said, who is that boy? I explained who Raffi is, that he had sent letters ect ... and he said, "does he have lego???, I want to go visit him!"
    Love you Dawn!

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  4. This is so beautiful and yes, you brought tears to my eyes as well. Your photography is incredible. Your mom was such a creative; don't let her down by stopping or denying your own. Write, paint, sing, take gorgeous photography. Give the world your gifts. My daughters are in their 30's. In the blink of an eye, they became adult women with their own gifts and talents. I am so very proud. I am, however, also lost in some ways, as being their mom was such a joy. Mostly, they allow me into their lives each day, so that I can 'mom' them just a little. Hopefully, I am not very annoying, but I know that I am at times. Sometimes I give them news they don't want to be reminded of. Sometimes, I'm very silly. But I love them to my core and I always want to be there for them. I have 3 grandchildren now, too and they are growing quickly. One daughter moved quite far away, so I'm missing out on the every day joys of her little one. The cost of flying there gets higher and higher, and a visit is not the same. It almost hurts more.
    I feel your pain so very clearly. I feel it and I want to reach out and fill the void somehow, but I know that I can't. I lost my dad when I was 20, and the missing piece can never be filled.
    Yesterday, we went fishing. It started to rain. I said, "Some of the best fishing occurs during a rainstorm." Rod said to me, "How did you know that?" "My Dad taught me that," I said. That was over 50 years ago....

    Your mom will always be with you, but you'll ache to see her and hear her voice, as I ache to see all the people in my life who I can no longer pick up the phone to speak with.

    I would say............don't miss a moment; don't skip a beat; don't miss any moments of the people you do have. Don't feel guilt. Feel love. Don't feel the loss; feel the blessings. I'm not successful at this every day, but I try harder every day, too. Your connection with Nature is a connection to God or whatever spiritual being you honor. Cling to it and find peace. xoxo (if you ever want to talk, I'm a skype away)

    Joann

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  5. Bless your heart. Mean it. Your boy is thriving, he is darling.

    Thanks for updating here, and I pray you find comfort in the sweet moments of everyday life.

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  6. Dawn, I was so happy to see a post from you today! Your writing and photography is just beautiful. You have wonderful gifts---thanks for sharing raw emotions that most of us feel, but are unable to express. ♥

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  7. My goodness how much Raffi has grown!!! It seems they grow way too fast. I know each year seem to be only 5 months long for me now that I am 60+.

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  8. Hi!Dawn is so wonderful to see ur post today . miss your honest and truthful way of writing and seeing your pictures . Thanks for sharing ur life and feelings .

    Mary

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  9. Hello Dawn,
    I noticed your blog on a friend's blog, and your name caught my eye, as I love all the seasons too, especially Autumn. You have such a lovely blog with many wonderful pictures. Raspberries are one of my favorites this season. We are in full summer here, and the days are hot and the skies are blue. Me and my daughters also have a blog, and we would love it if you would visit us and follow. It's nice to meet new friends, and you surely do have a delightful blog. I hope to hear from you, and have a sweet day.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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  10. Oh Dawn, you have such a gift with words....you touch my heart with their sincerity. As a recent empty nester, I am glad for you that you recognize the "short season of childhood" and that you are relishing it all!! It is a wonderful thing to look at the world through our childrens' eyes, no matter what their age:) Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Wonderful! You have lovely photos. Enjoy sweet moments of everyday life!

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  12. Hi Dawn, I just wanted to leave you a quick comment to let you know how much I love your blog and have been enjoying your photos for many years. I am continually checking back here to see if you have updated. I hope you are getting on ok and are enjoying the fall and all the sweet moments with your family that go along with it ♥

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  13. Dawn, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I haven't been blogging at all and so I'm only seeing this now but still wanted to let you know how sorry I am and how beautiful your words are. I hope all the wonderful memories of your time with your mother bring warmth and peace to your heart. XOXOXO

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  14. Hi Dawn,

    I hope you are doing better. I lost my Dad when I was 25. I am so sorry about your Mom. I remember her commenting here and how proud she was of your gift of writing.

    Miss your wonderful posts, they are a bright spot in your readers day. Wishing you, Raffi, your husband, and the pups all the best.

    Elise

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