The word used to make me think of
· ancient Cathedrals with stained glass windows.
· windswept plains
· lush forests
Places to go and think until life made sense again.
Now, the word conjures up images of
· dirty diapers
· sticky fingers
· crying babies
· Downtown Vancouver, B.C.
I still remember my kids and I riding down a long, steep escalator, It was rush hour.
Destination: Grandville street sky train station.
· two whiny preschoolers hanging on me
· a fussy baby in the stroller
I was a living, breathing advertisement for abstinence.
Got a lot of strange looks. Usually, that didn’t bother me. I had more important things to think about like
1. How many crackers were left in the diaper bag.
2. When could I fit in another nap?
3. How long before one of these kids got potty trained?
Today was different.
I was exhausted. Discouraged.
I began to wonder
· What have I done with my life?
· How would I ever achieve anything significant?
I felt alone.
Simple and unaccomplished in a sophisticated world.
That’s when I heard singing.
The raspy sound of a man’s voice accompanied by a guitar. .
He stood in front of a tiled wall by the entrance to the Expo Line.
“the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man on the moon…”
When we reached the bottom of the escalator, my kids and I spilled onto the floor Three Stooges style. I pulled myself together and pushed the stroller past the singer.
Shiny coins thrown into the singer’s guitar case caught my oldest son’s eye.
He lunged for a handful.
I yanked him back.
The guy with the guitar just kept on singing. He sang about a dad too busy to spend time with his son. He sang about a grownup son too busy to spend time with his dad.
“When you comin’ home dad?” the melody rose above the hustle and bustle of the crowded station as my kids and I squeezed into one of the Expo line cars,
“I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son…”
As the doors slid shut, it hit me. The epiphany.
I didn’t even see it coming until it smacked me in the face.
These crazy moments of motherhood weren’t going to last forever.
Just long enough to be savored like the finest truffle, the sweetest wine.
I still had time.