[Pardon the interruption of Waylon Week. I just had to sit down and write this immediately.]
Sometimes when I look out the window, I am stopped in my tracks, struck by the thought that I think my children are having a good childhood.
It is not something I can photograph well, but right now, Georgia and June are playing some sort of travel game out in the back yard. They've packed their suitcases and dragged out their sleeping bags, and at this very moment they have stripped down to their underwear in the bright sunshine for God knows what reason. Perhaps it is bedtime in their world?
Waylon is napping, and the girls are supposed to be having quiet time, but when they are playing nicely together it feels wrong to adhere to a rigidly enforced schedule of independent, restful play. Sometimes there's a good reason to break the rules.
Who knows when all is said and done whether our children will feel they had a good childhood. Certainly there are many daily moments that I'm not proud of. I get burned out. I lose my temper too often. I'm not merely being humble or paying lip-service to such thoughts. Besides, the kids are young, and there are many years left to screw this all up. But this is not about that. This is about eating your oatmeal outside so you can watch the roofers work on the neighbor's house. This is about putting on headscarves and getting out Easter baskets in October so you can hunt for nuts and berries and play "Little Purple Riding Hood". This is about feeling gratitude and squeezing my eyes tight trying to hold on to fleeting moments.
I do not think that a city upbringing is better than a suburban one, or that a suburban childhood is superior to that offered by the city. But sometimes, when I look out the window I can't believe we even have a yard. Or that my children are outside - without me. This is still all so new to me, and it's blowing my mind.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”