Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The river of joy

The kiddos are going back to school today. Facebook is full of pictures of backback laden kids with smiling faces and posts from tearful mothers. The first day of kindergarten, junior high, senior year or freshman in college.

At Target last night searching for some hanging folders ( none found) I found instead the "back to school aisle". Ah, the pencils ( and their cases), looseleaf notebook paper( limited quanitity please), the binders,  the dividers and the pocket folders. I want to buy my supply. Instead I listen. The harried mommies saying things like "you only get..", or "I'm not buying", or "You don't need"...Moments missed.

But it's not really about need. Or at least that kind of need. At the gym yesterday I overheard another mommy confess that she was just not up to the chaos (mutliple children)  so she went "school supply shopping" on her own. Isn't that an oxymoron?  A loss of sorts for all. A moment missed.

But then there are the gentle ones. An immigrant ( or so it appeared due to her broken English and her kids mastery of it) mommy listening to her school bound youngsters in all their enthusiam, mirroring back their joy, rolling with the idea for a moment,then gently steering them back toward needs more than want. These children were happy. Their mother was too. A gentle joy. Somehow she seemed to know that secret. That this was it. Right here, right now. These are the moments that make the life.

"How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of humans is to resist it"  E. Lesser. We gray haired mommies who now start our days with a cup of coffee, alone, know something. We remember these moments with a tear ( or two ) And we know there are many more to come. To quote someone, not sure who " to say good-bye it to die a little".  And, " to become a mother is to wear your heart on the outside of your body for the rest of your life".  It all boils down to pain. The pain of letting go. The pain of love.

That, of course it not the end of the story. "Weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning" Psalms 30. For me this is why:

"When you do something from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy" Rumi

My grand adventure, my river of joy, is the raising of my kiddos. I have savored every step of the way. I know that the letting go is my gift to them. I know that school shopping chaos, or college drop offs, or kindergarten send offs are all part, all little streams, that flow into my river of joy. Bring on the tears....they fill my river.

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