It was entitled, "Goodnight, Childhood--if only we knew when a magical moment was taking place for the last time."
The author, Barbara Wylan Sefton, talks about realizing one day that she wouldn't be reading Goodnight Moon to her son (now ten) ever again. She hadn't read it to him in years and yet it was just now sinking in.
It's got me thinking...How often do we experience something in life for the last time? Regrettably, we rarely ever know until we look back and see that a chapter has silently ended and a new on begun without warning.
She goes on to say, "If only there were a flashing neon sign that lit up the sky or a buzzing alarm that sounded whenever a childhood ritual was ending. The neon letters would proclaim, 'Take note of this experience. Enjoy. It won't happen again.' "
If that flashing neon sign had lit up the sky the last time those pages were turned, would we have stretched out the reading a little longer, savoured the book a little more, or maybe even read it again?
She talks about making sure she captured in her mind's eye the look of wonder on her small son's face as he followed the words and pictures along the page.
She put the book down one night, fully expecting they'd pick it up again. But they never did, and time marched on until the little boy who once loved to point upward to the moon discovered there was so much more to know about that distant, giant ball in the sky.
She tells about how she is grateful that we mark milestones like birthdays, graduations, and new years with celebrations that help us say goodbye to one era and hello to the next. As one hand joyfully unwraps the birthday present, the other pauses for just a moment to wave to that flashing neon sign in the sky.
But what about all the ordinary, day-to-day experiences that exit without the opportunity for a farewell?
Her final quote is, "I'm hoping that what they say about death is true: my entire life will flash before me like a movie, and I'll have a final chance to celebrate the simple, beautiful moments that I was blessed to play a part in, moments that slipped by without my knowing how special they were. Until then, I think I'll curl up on the sofa with my son, enjoy the sweet smell of his freshly shampooed hair, and read Harry Potter one more time."
I took a good look at Jake the other day and was amazed to see that he had sprung up almost overnight...It was like I was seeing him for the first time in months! He definately doesn't want anything resembling "cuddling" in public, he would rather read a book or play a game on the computer than do a craft with me and the girls (not that we're doing alot of those things here). My sister, Nella, even noticed it when we went back for JoJo's wedding...he just didn't have the same interests as he did when he saw her last.
Reilly seems so grown up to me as well...She's going to be 6 in a few days...It seems more like she's turning 16! She's very independent and knows what she wants and will stop at nothing until she gets it. I can't say that this comes as any surprise to me because she's been this way from the start, but she doesn't have her littleness anymore...and that makes me kind of sad.
Ellie is the one who still lets me baby her from time to time, but even then, it's less and less...
I love having her sit in the cart at the grocery store, even though she's way too big for it...it almost looks painful at times...I am literally on the cusp here--one day soon, she will be too big for the cart...and that day is rapidly approaching...
I am having a lot of these "Goodnight Childhood" moments lately...I'm feeling very weepy...It's funny, because having little kids has been a real struggle for me and yet I'm struggling to accept the fact that they're growing up...Talk about emotional flip flopping! I've even had some crazy thoughts like maybe having another baby!?!! What the...?
It brings me great comfort to know that I will always be a mother...even when they are grown up...I am still their mom and they will always need me, whether they know it or not.
**Do you miss those "three little bears sitting on chairs"?
**Do you wish that there were neon signs in the sky to alert you of "last moments"?
**Should my new knickname be "Debbie Downer"?