Some days with the girls just seem to shine like gold. Not that the entire day is perfect. There are these moments though, that simply glow. Moments when I am consciously trying to burn images of them in this gorgeous golden sunlight as memories so deep I will never forget.
Last weekend our little family attended the Tucson Festival of Books. Yeah- that’s right. A festival… of books! I know you’re jealous. I mean, what more could a nerdy girl ask for? An Arizona spring day, university campus, festival trappings of food and music, and ahhh- the books.
I worked my night shift and then was picked up by my husband and the girls. The little ladies were wearing sunhats(!), sunscreen (!!), and shorts under their dresses (!!!). He is totally getting this “daddy-to-girls” thing down.
We traipse across the mall, reminiscing about our somewhat brief collegiate experiences. We visit wildcat statues, people-watch, dog-visit, and enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch.
We’re drawn in to a performance by a local high school’s band. They’re playing “Higher Love” on a slew of steel drums. (I didn’t even know I liked that song, but on the steel drums it’s amazing). And I sway and I bounce the tiny grinning toddler on my hip. I watch as the preschooler gleefully picks her way through the crowd to get closer to the danceable beat.
And suddenly I am overcome.
Goosebumps in the morning sun. I’m not sure if it is the sleep deprivation, the sweetly metallic music, or the Americano that I downed after work, but I have tears of joy at seeing my girls experience these sights and sounds.
The band starts in on the requisite but always chill Bob Marley, and after a few minutes, we move on. We have important literary figures to meet (Curious George, Madeline, Pigs with Pancakes- you know the type).
And Irish step dancing to watch. Song after song of it. The big sis just can’t get enough of Irish step dancing. Who can blame her?
When I remember this day, I am thankful that I ambled camera-less. I was there. With my mind’s eye and all my senses snapping images faster and more indelible than any fancy camera could.
They lead the way. These little girls, already with their opinions about fashion, food, and (apparently) festivals. I follow behind their sweet sun-hat clad heads. Watching smiles warm the faces of the people who notice them. Watching their trailing ribbons and bouncing girlishness as they explore their world with complete wonder. Watching their strong, confident legs striding, almost skipping.
And I am in awe.
In awe of these precious ones who, not too long ago, were as close as a heartbeat; growing inside my very core.
And somehow they will always be in there… and yet, they are out here.
This aching joy.
This drawing close. This letting go.
This is motherhood.
It is the purest gold.
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”