Some days I start calculating the hours left until their bedtime. Because I’ve exhausted my exuberance for cutting and sticking and running and jumping and remembering to buy Panado and explaining again that the small chessmen are pawns not prawns. Because sometimes in the hours when I should bring out my A-game I’m all out of energy and influence.
And I think about what Sandra Stanley says – that the days might feel long but the years are so short.(Tweet that?)
Tomorrow we’re flying to the Western Cape for a reunion with my mom’s vast and wonderful family. I threw out the idea at a wedding two and a half years ago because no more weddings were imminent and we didn’t know when next we’d all be together. My aunt held me to it. My mom convinced everyone that they absolutely had to come. And absolutely everyone will be there. Forty-two people from three provinces – and Namibia – crowding into the valley where my grandparents’ ashes are buried under an Outeniqua yellowwood.
Because when there’s the same blood running in veins and when people have been at other people’s most beautiful moments and on the other end of phone calls delivering devastating news and when everyone in a South African family is still on the continent it’s worth finding a week of days to sit long and dig toes into sand and let the seasons wash over us with the tides. And even though four plane tickets could have bought groceries for three months sometimes obedience looks kind of irresponsible because this is the stuff of life.
So all these long days I’m living? They’re adding up to short years packed tight with history and memory and we’re becoming someone else’s previous generation. Maybe someday my ashes will be buried under that yellowwood and I can decide how these little ones and the ones coming after will grow up in my shade. And maybe the obedience that buys Panado and plane tickets is all part of the chronos-kairos glory. All worship. All worth it.
. . .
Can you relate to long days and short years? Feel free to leave a comment, or download The Prayer Manifesto for Moms. Peeps are saying it’s helping them through the long days.