Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time in a bottle

“I sharpened all these pencils,” was the first thing Isla said to me this morning when I came lurching, all out of focus, into the cold kitchen.  

She’d been up for a while, but had moved around the house so comfortable in her skin, quietly sharpening her colored pencils, that none of us noticed. She wasn't even bothered by the freezing floor tiles on her bare feet. The rest of the world didn't matter to her. Her world was complete.

For a fleeting, poignant moment in time, the earth’s usual rotation was suspended, like the arm of a record player, hanging, poised just over a spinning disc, knowing its power, for once it lowers and makes contact with the vinyl, the entire room will be at its mercy.

Even after she saw I was awake, usually her cue to tap into her inner needy person, she didn't seem all too interested in me. She went into her room, sat on her bed, and sang a quiet song to her stuffed animal, Pepsi.

My children have been bowling me over lately with their quietness. Their presence in this house, when they are in confident, self sufficient, moods, not needing a thing, is when I can most clearly see who and what they are, and when I most profoundly feel how much I love them. They are not demanding my love, they are simply drawing it out of me, pulling it like an endless, magical thread, calling upon it without saying a word.

And the more we have these moments in our house, the more I am sure that the earth is indeed spinning, and rotating, at warp speed and I have not the slightest modicum of control over where we are headed and how fast.

Because once you get so accustomed to the noise and the din and the chaos of being needed every second of the day, the sound of that din, when it stops, is as deafening as a door slammed in your face.

8 comments:

MaxandRuby said...

Oh Betsy, she is so precious. And she's growing up! I've also recently noticed that my children have been playing nicely together, or quietly solving problems without my intervention. I know just what you mean. Time stops sometimes. I freeze the little moments in my mind. Your blog reminds me to do that more often.

Emma said...

It is lovely when children get to that stage of being able to do their own things for a while. I love secretly spying on Ruby while she plays some long and involved game with her dollies, complete with opera style songs and drama that makes Days of Our Lives look tame.

Betsy said...

MaxandRuby: Glad to remind you. I need reminding myself.
Emma: I used to watch Days.....

Anonymous said...

thank you once again for your beautiful writing. not for the first time you have reminded me to take a step back and just enjoy my children for who they are.

and i love your haircut! :)

adrianne-p said...

Jeans?! That's not your child! I think you've left Isla somewhere in your travels. When did Isla start wearing jeans!? I thought she was a dress kind of gal and you had to fight tooth and nail to get her into tights/stockings ... how ever did you get her into *jeans*?! (Love it, by the way : ))

Adrianne

Betsy said...

Adrianne-P: You are paying attention. This is more proof of my inability to keep up with my kids ebbs and flows. One of the many major milestones that whizzed by so fast, I had barely enough time to acknowledge it. She is still into dressup, but is now rockin' the jeans and corduroys, often opting for the layered look, wearing dresses over the top

kebrown2007 said...

You're right, that sound of silence is deafening! You are blessed that your girls are in that stage. Those moments are quick, and your blog reminded me to always look for those moments!

-alex said...

That was really beautiful, Betsy. Unfortunately, my kids are in the sucker fish stage right now. Oldest one is acting out, breaking pencils, spilling juice on purpose, smacking younger brother. Movers finished packing us today, so hopefully things will settle down before Santa comes. Thanks for posting on my blog the other day. -a