While It Lasts

 Autumn arrives and fades so quickly.  

Already, some trees surrender their leaves.

The weather report predicts snow for later this week.  Snow!  I’m never ready for it. 

All day, I’m reminded of these glorious colors that do not last

I look up from my life, and time has fallen around my feet like leaves from an oak tree in winter.  I tell my oldest daughter to enjoy these carefree days of childhood while they last.  A college student’s mother visits my class and tells the students to “be sponges and enjoy college while it lasts.” 

This impulse (and commitment) to blog–to record a moment in time–has something to do with capturing the fleeting day.  This day happened!  It really did!  The sky was that blue.  The leaves were this vibrant. 

Each day offers something.  One day, I’ll rake them together like a pile of leaves to jump in, squealing with delight like I did as a girl. 

Journal:  What moment would you want to record about this day? 


What Children Remember About Spring Break

This morning on the walk to school, a little boy tells us his plans for Spring Break. 

All week, we’ve been hearing what other families will enjoy. Between discussions about Disney World and indoor water parks, I’m jealous and sad.  I think about everything my children will miss out on. 

I think about “the good life” and how deprived we are with this tight budget.   I pray for a way out of this bad mood. 

Last year, we drove to New Jersey and then spent a day in New York City.  I took pictures of all the wonderful things my daughters experienced.  Every American family knows, after all, that you’re not really a good parent of daughters unless you visit the American Girl store. 

Back then, I believed the myth that children need fancy in order to feel loved and enjoy their lives. 

Feeding Birds in New York City

So this morning a little boy tells us that he’s going to New York City.  My youngest daughter turns to him and says, “I went last year!  You will not believe how amazing the birds are!” 

The birds?  What about the restaurants, the museums, the shopping?  What about the doll hair salon and the toy stores? 

She doesn’t mention any of it.  What she remembers is sitting on the steps of a building and feeding the pigeons with me.  That lasting memory–the one she cherishes and talks about–cost nothing.  She goes on and on and on about feeding birds

Living with flair doesn’t mean fancy or expensive.   Sometimes I just think it does. 

Journal:  When I’m tempted to think happy memories mean fancy, how can I remember that the best memories often cost nothing?