There we were, finished with swimming and the hot pool (aka spa) and mostly dried, and the kids settled into their new last step: laying out their towels on the lounge chairs and soaking in the sun. We lay there in a row, the sky a cloud-free blue, and enjoyed the late afternoon warmth drying our skin. K was soon up, wrestling with the back of the chair. “I want it down,” she said, and I obliged. Then she stretched her towel back flat and stretched out on her stomach, her little blond head resting on her folded arms. I could see in this a glimpse into the future, a teenage K sunbathing just like this. Here before I know it, as quickly as time passes around our corner of the world.
It dawned on me the other day that I calculated early on in motherhood that I would have seven years to enjoy the kids at home before they’d both be in school. And we’ve hit the end of year six. It seemed like such a long time, seven years, and now they’ve nearly passed me by. I longed for them, but I was surprised in my longing. There was no sense of regret, no frustration or guilt that I’m sure I could come up with reasons to have. I wanted them back, only to do them all over again the exact same way. The next six years will probably pass as quickly, right to a mid-grown K on her pool lounger. If I can look back at them with that same sense of satisfaction, I know I will have spent them well.