The days are longer and I hold onto the light, each sliver.
A quick glance out the window after we've finished the dishes and had our full of the last meal of the day, and I suggest a walk? They agree.
We open the door to the brisk air.
Our neighbor across the way opens his door at the same time we do, and he asks if he can join us. We're all hesitant, wanting to keep this time to ourselves. Saying "of course" was the right thing to do, the better thing. We could share this time.
The light is nearly gone now. Still, we walk. And we talk.
Together, we chat about smart boards...and first grade...and dogs...and losing teeth...and fish...and our grandmothers...and cars...and accidents...and life.
Our neighbor-man's children have grown up and moved out. He smiles and says he misses *this age*. He's enamored with the chatter of our boy-man, and we have no idea just how fast time will seem to go. We cannot imagine missing *these days* and think we'll have them forever.
He thanks us for allowing him to go with us. For the conversation and for the *time* with the child.
We are blessed, we know this. And it feels so good to know that we blessed him, too. We extended Grace and his heart was blessed.
Later on my groom tells the boy how he's one third of the way to college. The boy smiles all delighted at the thought of being a man and moving away, and he just knows it'll bother his mama so he pokes and prods me a little to see if I'll bite. And I do. Of course I do. I tell him that I don't know what I'll do when he's gone - that maybe I'll ride horses, that I'll still write and read, and still spend time with his Daddy, and that I'll miss him, of course.
Growing up and out is necessary. It's an important part of life and I've known it from the beginning. Give him wings has been a constant thought, and yet I hold on - thinking that the someday will be here later. Yet, I know it's here now.
What we do today will affect tomorrow, and the boy's mind will remember more of these days for years to come. What we do today could be a part of the stories he tells his own children as he tucks them into bed. These are the days to remember.
So we cherish and hold tight, and remember to loosen our grip and give him wings.
Picking our battles, we remind ourselves that he's learning to make good choices, for him. And so we step back and watch, and guide, and correct, and encourage, and love.
This boy-man isn't just for us, I am reminded after the walk with our neighbor-man. He's for the world. He's for God to use in the most unimaginable ways. Just as He's using us in the most unimaginable ways.
Time ticks on - the boy grows and we grow, too. We remember that love does not come from this boy alone, and to not hold too tight because one day he will grow up and move out, and our marriage will remain, and even if death parts us we will still have Love.
Our entire being isn't made up of the roles we have now as Mama and Daddy, and the Love that envelopes us isn't just this boy-man's pure heart or the vows we exchanged a decade ago.
Time ticks on and I am reminded that God's Love is so much bigger and His Grace extends farther than we can ever reach.
It is Grace to have another day, and it is Grace to receive His Love through this child and this man. And it is Grace to know that they are only a small piece - just a fragment - of just how amazing is His Love.