My bare feet sink into sand, but still I run, holding tight to the little one’s back before I throw him overhead in a grand under-dog. He clings tight to the chain, laughing loud. His brother teases, “Grandma can push higher than you!” because he’d rather tease than ask politely for a turn. But I hear the asking in the teasing, and I push him up and over, higher than his brother.
As I recover my footing I see she is watching me-- my oldest daughter, with her big brown eyes. She, too, sits on the swing, but her feet touch the ground. Her swing moves lazily back and forth, heavy with adolescence, but she pouts at me and begs, “Push me too mommy!” I laugh, “I don’t know if I can do that anymore, girly!” I grab her back and give a shove, then another, and she giggles, “wheee!” but we are both only pretending. She barely moves. She shakes off the act and says seriously, “I’ve got it from here, mom.”
She’s got it from here.
Not all of “it,” I think, as I watch her swing higher than the others.
She starts sixth grade this year. She’s not done with me yet.
But I watch her swing higher than the others. I see it: she is preparing to fly.
They all are.
My heart stretches, aches.
I push the littlest ones again, while they are still small enough, and I am young enough.
We’re getting ready to fly.
Someday, they’ll all say to me, “I’ve got it from here, mom,” and it will be true. God, help me to spend these pre-flight days wisely! Be the anchor of our souls even as time whisks us forward! Do not let sadness or selfishness overtake me, but help me rejoice in the growth You give.
You’ve got them, God, from here, and from there.
And You’ve got me, too.
God, grow me up as you grow them up!