*Published at (in)courage, May 20, 2017
I looked out the kitchen window and noticed how big the little oak tree had grown. It suddenly towered over the house, as if it had always been stretching its arms up that high. It had grown tall, like my son. It was a gift in honor of his birth, and it had been growing for nearly 16 years.
The little oak had been played under and climbed in, its branches shading our children as their little legs pumped the swings on the wooden play set that was built for them by their dad and grandfather. Those swings were long gone now, and I couldn’t even find the two dips in the ground where their precious little feet had pushed the dirt high in the air as they giggled and played and swung to their hearts’ content.
I sighed as I wondered where all the time had gone. It seemed just a few days ago that my toddler son was riding up and down the porch on his scooter, the little plastic tires clunking away on the wooden floorboards. It sounded like a distant rumble of thunder as I listened from the kitchen.
His older sister’s quiet ways echoed to me from a past that seemed so recent. She had filled her days with drawing and reading and painting outside on the easel. The days of play dough and peanut butter sandwiches had turned into a rush of classwork, recitals, scout trips, and college applications in just the blink of an eye. My heart felt wistful and sad.
Life was moving me into a new season. Today the letting go was hard and seemed to grow bigger.