At the end of a long and busy day at work, glad to be home for the evening, I steer my somewhat beaten up Honda into the curving driveway leading to our front door.
I notice and appreciate, the fact that it is still daylight. Outside the garage doors a child's bike stands abandoned and on the curving patio outside our sun porch sits a lawn chair with an air of having been recently vacated. Signs of the start of the season of sunshine and outdoor pursuits.
I open the car door and reach for my briefcase, empty thermos and another bag, full of books, lunch box and bits and pieces that overflow as I try to wrestle them strategically into place for the trip into the house.
As I head for the door, a child runs around the corner of the house with the grace of a gazelle, long hair flowing behind her, cheeks rosy with fresh air. "Hide and seek!" she pants conspiratorially as she disappears around the other side of the house.
My bags land with a thud on the floor in the hallway, but the sound of children's laughter outside, lures me to the windows overlooking the back lawns.
I see Tiffany-Amber loping down the lawn towards the woodpile, and Victoria darting low behind it.
I notice that Tiffany-Amber is growing up fast and sprouting curves. "It is all too soon," I think, but then she throws back her head, and does a perfect wolf howl. I am relieved. For now. She is still the child who can morph into any animal at will, taking on its very essence somehow, and becoming the animal or bird she is imitating.
At the office I have reason to call someone I haven't spoken to for a while. After an initial greeting, she asks, "Grandchildren?" and before pursuing the reason for the call, we share a moment or two enumerating the number and ages of our respective granchildren. Then we both sigh and agree that they are among the greatest treasures of life.
Yesterday I completed a questionnaire for someone and the final question was, "Tell me anything else about yourself that you would like to." I said, "I am almost 59 and this is the best time of my life."
It truly is. Tonight I went with my girl and her girls, to see the movie, Earth. It was amazingly beautiful and impossible to watch without being awed at God's creation. We munched popcorn, shared slushies and later walked laughing through the chilly dark night to find the car; three generations of womanhood, bound by love and family.
Tomorrow it is Special Persons Day at the school that three of our other grandchildren go to: Katherine, Stephen and Josh. I will be honoured to be there. We only get so many of these in a lifetime and a grandparent knows these things.
Tonight I thank God for changing seasons and for the wisdom to be present in the moment that is now. I have seen my children grow to adulthood when I turned my back for a moment. With grandchildren there will be no turning around.