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The Seven Year Old Wonder

Birthday GiftsIt's Willow's birthday today.  She's been seven for about fifty minutes now.  The past year has gone incredibly fast, it seems.  I never say that, never feel it, but I do right now.  I feel like I was just saying goodnight to five and now six is gone, too.  She still seems little, in some ways, and I treasure that.  I want her to stay little as long as she can, in a world that tries to hurry us along.

Her skills have increased and so has her ability to cope with everyday challenges calmly.  I think I could use some lessons from her.  Actually, I do.  Oh, the learning I've done in these past seven years.  Mothering with Soul talks about the child gradually loosening his or her spiritual connection to mother as the early years pass and I can feel that.  She is more her own person now than she was a year ago.

It frightens me a little to look ahead and think of little things being put away for bigger things.  But, we can share those things in a different way than we could before.  Willow will soon learn to knit and we can work on that together.  We practice recorder together.  We can make magic together, though I really want her to believe in fairies for a long, long time.

For now, I try to create magic of my own.  The Tomten sewed her a tiny quilt for the mushroom dollhouse.  He left her a note in his best cursive writing.  I'll put on the water for hot chocolate soon and there will be her favorite cream of wheat for breakfast.  Used books, a fairy, a queen, and paper dolls will thrill her, I know.  Paper dolls and a book for Roan, too, as it's his half-birthday and he has a bit of trouble with all the attention.

Time to enjoy this first day of seven.

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

~Fall Song :: Mary Oliver


( 5 trees — Plant a Forest )
Oct. 27th, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday to Willow! My John turned seven this month, too. In my experience, they still need us and maybe even more so, to keep introducing opportunities for wonder. It is a different kind of joy than my four year old enjoys, but it is coupled by self-confidence and that makes it even sweeter.

What you are doing is important, difficult work, and I think you are doing it so well! Congrats on making it through seven years of motherhood!

Your friend Meredith

Oct. 27th, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC)
Happiest of days to you all!

We're having Cream of Wheat too :)
Oct. 27th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday, Willow!

Brandy, you are a really good mother engaged in the most important work there is. You are giving your children a *beautiful*, gentle childhood. The other day I was reflecting on just how important that is. The lessons learned in childhood--the love and memories and skills and stories and rhymes--are remembered for a lifetime. (Whereas the things I learn today seem to vanish in the night!)

Oct. 27th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
Happy 7 to Willow!
(Deleted comment)
( 5 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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