With small pangs of heartbreak, I allowed him to turn 6-years-old.
Twice that day he leaned close and whispered: I'm six.
He's trying it on.
He's turning, we're all turning; officially exiting "Chapter of the Small Child."
We've spent a lot of time here.
Years ago, when I tossed my graduation cap high in the air along with 500 other high schoolers, I seriously couldn't beLIEVE the moment had ACTUALLY arrived. I'd dreamed about it for so long but sort of thought I'd keep dreaming and never really get there.
Before that, I'd spent all my growing years as the daughter of an army officer, relocating every 1-4 years, living in 12 different houses before I'd finished high school.
Our North Carolina-born&raised kids can't fathom that, recently asked if it was as terrible as it sounds. Honestly, no...it wasn't. (until high school!).
The thing is, when you live in the military, you EXPECT to move.
You are always aware that your life - as you know it - is temporary.
When I was six, there was no thought of staying anywhere. And the people in your community? THEY don't stay either - also moving in and out, so you're all in the same boat. I'm sure the experience of a military WIFE is a whole different story, but for us kids...it was what we knew and expected.
The anticipation of relocation shaped relationships, but not always in the way you might assume. We were pretty quick to dive in, declare our "best friends." Bobbi Jo, Jennifer, Jodi, Jennifer, Leslie, Merri, Megan, Jeff, Monica&Jen, Laurel...cherished friendships. Hearts broke at year's end when the movers showed up, but in the meantime? Let's play!!
Everything moved. And we knew it.
Everything still moves, on a swift current that lets us touch beauty just before it wrinkles, enjoy a few minutes of good health before the bad, feel the weight of wealth in our palms before it is spent, relish a full house before an empty nest...life before death.
We anticipate, we release. Over and over and over, every day.
If these are the things we trust to keep us afloat, we will find our very selves swept downstream, because they are not meant to stick around for long...only to stretch and point toward the unseen, which will not be taken away, will not be destroyed by moth, rust, or old age.
So...I let him move on, my last little downy head. He moved on to age six, and tomorrow he will move out to some other life away from his mother.
And she will grieve for a time, but she will not be swept away. Because what she holds onto is the Unmoving Love that holds onto her.