Today we went walking. Together we made our way from the car down the grassy meadow path, toward the pond, then past, on a wonderfully cool shady path through the trees. We turned around at a place where our path was joined by a second that had run along side ours from the pond to where we stood. I gave them a choice: back through the same shady woods or follow the parallel, sunny path through the meadow grasses. First one chose the shady path and the other the sunny. As he saw I would let him go on his own, that look: of newly dawning adventure and proof of his bigness shown brightly on his face and he started off laughing, mirrored quickly by his brother.
I started back through the shade with a big smile on my face, hearing their laughter, feeling that strange mother's pride (at things of which are no doing of our own) at their bigness and ability where there used to be caution and much shorter ties. I could see, every now and then, their sunhats bobbing above the grasses, through thin spots in the trees. I felt the strangeness of my steps and boy-free hands, and breathed in deeply of the goodness and change.
Later, an argument. One boy needing closeness with me, the other closeness with his brother. As I began to iron newly washed fabric for a sewing project, a construction site was brought into being at my feet and under my table. Barricades were erected, dirt was scooped and dumped, a water main project was begun and abandoned in favor of a swimming pool, and workers called out to each other in wonderfully pretend-deep voices. And then the construction site moved on, at least in part, and those voices became fainter as they continued to proclaim their ever-changing story-line.
It is an almost living thing, this rhythm, this breath of in and out, drawing close and running free. I don't usually see it so clearly, or find the grace to accept it for as lovely and as full-of-life a thing it is. But when I do, I am thankful, and it is good.