I pull into the parking lot at our local park. The van doors slide open and three yellow-shirted children tumble out to wait for white spray on arms and faces. Then one by one they shout I-love-yous and run down the path, heading for friends and their homeschool PE class.
I get back into the van. The time is mine. It is a light feeling. It feels... good... strange.
We have always homeschooled, so for the past fourteen and a half years I have had a child with me at almost all times. Each time one grew almost old enough to head off to a class like this, another one was born. There are almost five years between each of our living children.
This is the first time all three have regularly been away from me at the same time.
As I work the round of errands, I realize something odd is happening. I am flying through stores, crossing to-do's off my list left and right. I am going to have enough time to sit in the coffee shop and drink a half-priced frozen coffee and write! This is so easy!
Then it hits me. I am enjoying this. Enjoying not being with my family.
And immediately I miss them. My babies... growing up! I feel how fast the time is flying. Wasn't this just yesterday?
But no, it was fourteen years ago, and that chubby baby is now taller than I am.
What is it about humans? Greedy... we want what we don't have. The other day I told my son how much I would have loved to have had his amazing curls. My husband said "Not if you'd had them." He was right of course.
I don't want to live in the grass-is-always-greener trap. Nor the grass-was-greener-when trap. I want to live in this moment. I want to love this moment.
So when I am with my children I want to be with them, not thinking about what to make for dinner or how I'm going I find time to write. And when I am not with them I want to be fully immersed in what I am doing, thankful for the time to do things alone for a while. Enjoying each for what it is.
Just thankful for now, for this moment.