Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What I Miss


Most of the time these days I manage to make peace with the pandemic, but there are other days when I wallow in what I miss.

I miss the feeling of little fingers exploring my knee cap through the holes in my jeans as I read from a story book.

I miss the blast of overheated breath against my cheek as they excitedly whisper their news in my ear.

I miss the warmth of tears spreading through the fabric of my shirt and onto my shoulder as I hold them after a fall.

I miss the dampness that soaks through the seat of my pants when I sit on wet ground in order to be eye-to-eye with them.

I miss being genuinely eye-to-eye.

I miss living my days in a place where whenever I need to hold someone's hand, all I have to do is offer it and it will be embraced.

I miss overhearing the dance of bickering and agreement of children clustered together in private negotiation.

I miss those moments when we all fall silent, then, as if on cue, burst out in laughter.

I miss the moments before the children arrive when I await them in the last bit of silence.

I miss closing the door behind the last child to go home, then standing there to listen to them playing on the playground without me.

I miss the scent of the tops of their sweaty heads.

I miss living against the background of the bubble and babble of children at play.

I miss the gifts they bring for me, the special leaves, the bouquet of dandelions crushed lovingly in a fist, the portrait they made of me last night before going to bed.

I miss gently squeezing the last drops of snot from their noses.

I miss trusting them and to have that trust justified.

I miss spontaneous debates over our own rights and responsibilities and how to balance them with the rights and responsibilities of others.

I miss liberating them for a few hours each day in a world that is forever telling them what to do.

I miss being in the presence of so much love.

I miss spending my days learning from free people who grieve quickly, then come to accept their world as it is today, right now, engaging it without wasting a moment on what is missing. 

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