Friday, May 15, 2009


"The little things?  The little moments?  They aren't little."
Jon Kabat Zinn 

I like the word 'bittersweet.'  It's strange that there aren't more words like it in the English language, because we often feel two opposing emotions simultaneously.  It happened to me last week.  

It was a warm, spring afternoon and the girls and I were heading to the beach for a picnic.  The car was quite toasty when we first got in, so I buckled the girls into their seats and unrolled all of the windows before starting 'Goldie's' engine.  (Incidentally, Pip named my husband's macho red jeep, 'Creampup!')  Pip requested "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," because she likes to look for black horses and cherry trees on our road trips, so I turned on the music.

I heard giggles coming from the back seat so I snuck a peek in the rear-view mirror. Crazybaby had a look of happy astonishment on her face as she enjoyed the new sensation of wind in her face.  And there was Pip; the wind was blowing her hair all over the place, her face was speckled with moving beams of sunlight, and she was singing through a glorious smile.  "Is it too windy for you Pip?"  
"No Mama, I love it!"  Pip yelled back.

I suddenly thought about all of the, "summer-wind-blowing-your-hair-with-car-tunes-blaring," times that lay ahead of Pip.  I hoped that she would enjoy many such experiences in her lifetime, but the excitement I felt for her was accompanied with a little sadness at the thought that I probably wouldn't witness most of those moments.  Bittersweet.

A few months ago I had a conversation with my dad about how difficult it must have been for him when we left home as teenagers.  Imagine one day just watching your child leave for University in another province, when you've known exactly where they were every minute of the day for sixteen years!  Dad just smiled and said, "When it happens, you're ready for it."  I trust his words, but I'm glad that I've got at least another thirteen years to get ready for it.