Portrait of Play, Week 10

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I had promised a trip to the park after the kids made it through TWO hours of grocery shopping at the busiest, craziest market in town. I love Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market with all my heart, but I try to avoid it on the weekends, especially if I have the girls with me. It could have been disastrous (Winnie needed a nap and Chuck had just had a bunch of birthday cake and was coming down from a spend the night party she had the night before), but somehow we kind of enjoyed ourselves. Slow and steady wins the race. I even remembered to bring my list. The sunshine and warmth I’m sure had something to do with our pleasant moods, and so upon getting the groceries put away, we set out into it. This turned out to be one of those nights that felt like the past from the future, as if we were acting out a memory. James and I were both feeling sentimental as we remarked on how little Charlotte looked as she ran around the track, but also how much her body and face look like a kid now. James muttered something about how crazy it is that she has her whole life ahead of her, one that I can’t even begin to imagine. When I was her age, cell phones and computers were absent from my developing schema; the world as I now know it, unfathomable to my childhood self and young parents. It’s hard, maybe impossible to understand how this time we are currently living out will be such a small part of their life someday, possibly only felt or remembered in pictures. This season seems so enormous to me now, but it will be but a blip on the timeline in the future. It hit me hard during a recent text conversation with my mother. She was lamenting about the struggle to get our whole family together for a summer vacation and said to just wait until your children move away. Out of her 6 kids, she only has one who lives less than 3 hours away. I had never felt so guilty about living 15 hours away from home before as I did after that conversation (although I’m pretty sure she’s more upset about her grandchildren being far away than her own kids…nonetheless, I really truly can not imagine how hard that must be). I don’t know how far my girls’ futures will take them away from me, but if there’s any consolation, it’s that these are memories I will have long after they are little. Charlotte, hanging on the monkey bars, talking non-stop from the moment we left the house to the moment we got back, running with her tongue out, and scootering into the sun. Winnie, completely in love with life and everyone who looks at her, she’s content playing with wood chips or watching her sister or taking the teeniest of steps to get to you. These girls, I love them both so much.

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