|Last summer at my parents' house--handprints in cement.|
Last night at bath time Johnny said, Mommy, I have an owie on my knee. He stood there with his big mournful eyes, and I noticed how tall he is now. He is almost to the end of kindergarten. And I thought about how it's not going to be much longer that a child of mine shows me his owie.
Today was the annual garage sale at HOPAC, so yesterday we went through the house to find what we could get rid of. We loaded the car up with the booster seat and the foam blocks and the Ikea train set. You are taking away all of my memories! I whined to Gil. And he just rolled his eyes.
When you're in the midst of it, every season of life feels like it will last forever. You can't imagine yourself ever being old enough to get married and then suddenly you are; it feels like the babies will never be out of diapers and then one day you realize that everyone's pee has made it into the toilet (mostly) for quite some time now. The years at home with toddlers feel like eternity and then one night you think you could be looking at your last owie.
The passage of time here in Tanzania has surprised me. Living as overseas as a foreigner feels like it should be temporary. But days have a way of blending into years, which have eventually become Grace's entire childhood. And me? I was 23 when we moved to Tanzania. I'm 41 now. Enough time has gone by that we have replaced our wedding towels and watched trees grow from seedlings to towers and seen first teeth grow in and later get covered by braces.
So much of life is sullied by longing for the next thing. But then you get to 41 years old and realize that the next thing always comes, no matter how far away it seems.
I like Now. I want to live in Now. As Jim Elliot exhorted, I want to be All there. Until that Day, the Day when all will be made new, all I have is Now.
I'm listening to Grace and her best friend in the backyard while I write this. They are supposed to be working on a science project, but judging from the hysterical laughter, I'm not sure how much is being accomplished.
I sit here, and I listen to them laugh.