Parenting is truly a "forest for the trees" experience, especially when you have more than one child. You are so caught up with the everyday minutiae of schoolwork, errands, activities – and squabbling – that you don’t always see that longer view. And suddenly, it’s as though there’s a break in the tree-line and you realize that you’re on a ridge affording you a view of miles.
Tonight was that realization. Youngest’s Tee-ball team met at a minor-league game to close out their season and the boys spent seven of nine innings tossing toy balls, wrestling, chasing and begging food. They were typical early elementary boys: wired and spastic. Along for the ride was eldest, a daughter with a foot in the teen years and an ear in the iPod. Middle was absent on his first non-family trip to go white-water rafting with his scout troop.
So down below was the route of childhood as I’ve known it thus far. Gradually starting to recede in the distance is the monitored playground romping and chase-tag of early childhood. Adjacent to me are the first experiences of breaking away as the kids begin to expand and explore. And ahead is the hilly and twisting passage into adulthood as they develop into the people that they’ll become.
As breathtaking a view as any overlook, whether in rural Virginia or British Columbia.
And suddenly, you’re again enveloped in trees as the next round of stuff happens. And you keep that moment as long as possible until the next one arrives.