When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 29, 2013

So long

On Saturday morning I flung open many of the windows in our house to let the warm and sunny spring air that had finally arrived flow freely through all of the rooms.  In an instant, the weekend felt completely different than those that had passed in the previous several months.  We spent most of the two days outdoors, cleaning out gardens to make way for new green shoots, riding bicycles, playing baseball in the school's grassy field, grilling our favourite warm weather foods to enjoy for dinner.  The weekend was lighthearted and full of laughter, and it felt like we had suddenly been transported to a new and fun place.  While change is sometimes difficult to accept, this is one transformation that I embrace wholeheartedly every year when the spring season comes to stay.

The sudden shift in seasons this weekend also meant the end of an era in our family's life, though, and that added a bit of wistfulness to what was otherwise a beautiful couple of days. The boys' wooden play structure, that friendly old fixture that has had a prominent place in our yard for years and has provided the backdrop for many a summer's evening of happy adventures, came down for good yesterday. I've known this day was coming since the end of last summer, when it was obvious that the structure was on its last legs, and the decision was firmed up when I noticed on Saturday that the boys' rapidly growing legs were now too long to swing comfortably on it anymore. But I still felt a great pang of sadness when Matt asked me for the nod to go ahead and dismantle it. I remembered so clearly how two very little boys had stood watching excitedly as their dad and their uncle assembled the structure in our backyard one house and many years ago, and while the signs that so much has changed since then are all around me every day, I somehow couldn't believe that my oldest child was already big enough to don work gloves and help his dad carry the worn pieces of wood away. In that instant, it seemed impossible that all those years had passed so quickly.

Life is full of changing seasons, of building and taking down, of growing and moving on.  This is the one thing I am always sure of, and the reason why I try to really live the little everyday moments, so that the joy of knowing them will stay with me even after the experiences themselves are gone.  I'm so glad for all of the memories I have of the boys playing gleefully on those swings and in that fort; I smile over them now as I look out on the empty space where the wooden structure once stood and dream excitedly of the vegetable gardens with which I am planning to fill it.  The space holds the promise of new growth, of new experiences, of new ways of enjoying our summer evenings in the years to come.  Still, it always catches me off-guard to feel just how much it aches when I hear the echoes of laughing little boys flying bravely and barefoot on yellow swings, and realize that the memories are suddenly all I have left.


  1. Great article - though I suppose that I may be biased, as I do have a distinct memory of helping construct the structure in question.

    1. Thanks, Mark! :) We sure do miss having a handy uncle down the street!