It’s almost bedtime and my girls are outside playing with the neighbors. The sun is slanted in the sky, ready to disappear for the night.
During this heat wave, everything is better in the evening. The flowers smell sweeter, the air is cooler, the light falls more gently. The girls are jumping on the trampoline and the slightest thing makes them collapse in a mountain of giggles.
I watch out the window. I know I should call them in, it’s time for pajamas and toothbrushes and storybooks. My inner voice warns of the importance of schedules and sleep routines, so I open my mouth to call the girls, but close it again. I don’t want to be the one that ends their fun. Not tonight.
The girls seem to know how precious little time is left. They jump higher, laugh harder, shout louder as they try to squeeze the last final drops of joy from the day. And I am struck with their beauty. These sweaty, exhausted, panting girls are simply beautiful as they fully live in the moment.
The sun slips a notch lower in the sky and I reluctantly head for the door. I don’t want this everyday magical moment to end, but I know it will come again tomorrow evening, and the evening after that. The summer has no end of magical moments.
But, when I reach the backdoor I don’t open it. I am torn because I know eventually summer itself will end, children will slowly grow up. There are a finite number of enchanted evenings and I feel the sudden urgency to hoard each special moment as tightly as I can in my over-controlling fist.
I wait with my hand on the door.
From next door, my neighbor calls her daughter in. All the girls stop jumping and half heartedly complain, but no one asks for five more minutes. They are tired from their fun. Quick plans are made for tomorrow evening and my daughters run inside without me having to call them.
“Wasn’t that the most fun?” they tell each other and they come inside. “Wasn’t that the best day ever?”
They are wiser than I, knowing that moments never last and this is what makes them special, understanding that if we remember these times we will never be left alone, wanting more.