It started churning in my head early Mother's Day morning. This thought took over every part of my mind as children brought me handmade cards and kisses. Chubby arms wrapping around my neck with fingers pressed into my hair.
What keeps childhood alive?
We went on a family walk that afternoon. Little ones skipped and danced across the green grass. Happy squeals of laughter. Bliss.
My heart was warm with love and appreciation for life's gifts. And yet these moments, magical in their own right, lacked the charm and imagination of youth. As I thought about my own life I began to question at which point holidays had lost their sparkle. Relationships had become difficult and life lessons grew harsh. My answer was 11.
That seems awfully early.
So I ask friends.
All their answers are the same.
It was at 11 that I realized life was hard. I recognized parental arguments. Began to question my place on this earth. Age 11 was when I started to ask the hard questions and wrestle with my future.
I watch my daughters duck and run beneath the sprinkler in our backyard. They stop to admire the rainbow which water casts into the air. They hold hands and tell stories. They are full of youthful fantasies.
How can I make this moment last?