I found myself at the school yard this afternoon with my minion army. They were playing together while I sat on the grass and watched them, read my book and enjoyed the unseasonably lovely, warm breeze.
And that is when it hit me. There are only 59 more days of summer vacation. I only have 59 days to enjoy this time with them. And, if the previous years are anything to go by, these next 59 days will fly by in the blink of an eye and then school, work, the bitter cold weather, the grind will start all over again.
And it was then that I felt the darkness start to fall over me this afternoon. In spite of the warm, bright sun. In spite of the clear blue sky and green lushness that surrounded me in the beauty of soft grass and forests. Despite my laughing, playing children enjoying the width and breadth and freedom of having the entire school yard to themselves. The darkness crept up and pricked the backs of my eyes, causing them to sting and tear. The darkness sat himself on my shoulder and hissed in my ear ” it’s slipping away from you. It’s all slipping away and you can’t stop it.” And I felt my heart beat heavier, slower, painfully slower while I counted and re-counted the days left before I would have to relinquish them back into their schools.
And I as I watched them play through my tears, I cursed myself for being stupid, for being upset over ‘nothing’ and letting the darkness win. I berated myself for being weak and pathetic, allowing sadness into an otherwise perfect day. I chastised myself for risking letting my children seeing me cry, without provocation or obvious cause. A crying mother is a sure-fire way to create anxiety and darkness in her children, I reminded myself.
And then, as quickly as he came, the darkness lifted. And my heartbeat sped up, lightened up and resumed its normal healthy rhythm. My tears evaporated just as they threatened to spill over my lower lashline and before leaving their tell-tale signs of streaky mascara for my children to see and question. The hissing whisper stopped and was replaced with the sound of one of my babies giggling at one of the others who was growling like a bear to elicit said giggles from his sibling. It was replaced by the sound of the leaves on the trees swaying gently in the wind, their song soft and subtle with the promise of new beginnings and the sunny, carefree summer days ahead during which I would be given the opportunity to bask in and absorb every precious moment of the childhoods that surrounded me.
I found myself feeling upset and greedy, resenting the rapid passage time and greedily wishing for more, although not able to explain, even to myself, why I felt that I deserved more.I forgot to appreciate the time that I do have with them and risked the quality of our time by being sad, bitter or depressed all because eventually it will end. These feelings of greed and resentment brought on the darkness and gave him space in my head. It was greed, not time who was the real enemy. And having faced this ugly fact, felt the feelings, admitted to myself what it all meant, they are now gone and I am left with an enormous amount of gratitude for each hour and minute that I get to spend ‘just being’ with my little people this summer. And once again, my heart is happy. At least it is until the next time I have to fight off the darkness, but at this moment, I am happy.