Thursday, April 24, 2014


I found myself on a carousel earlier in the week. We are on spring break, and Erin needed shoes, so we went to the mall. She got a pair of shoes (the lace up kind because she ties shoes now). And afterward we went to the carousel.

When Lanie and Erin were little, I think we were at the mall almost weekly. We window shopped. We lunched. We would get treats at Godiva. And there was usually a carousel ride involved. Now our mall trips are nearly yearly. Those memories with my kids seem so long ago.

Both kids anticipated the ride, and we had it almost to ourselves when most of the rest of the state was back in school.

Lanie asked me, "Are you getting on too?"

I had a moment's wonder if she wanted me to or not.

"Yes, but not on a horse," I said.

"Ok," she replied. "I wasn't going to go on if you didn't." This is the hard place where you're not five anymore; fun knows no limit, but image does.

The kids were seated and the music started and the ride seemed to spurt and lurch more than I remembered.

I looked at Erin and smiled.

"Don't watch me," she said, bashful.

I turned back to Lanie and feigned terror as a bobbing horse was right behind me with open mouth. She looked horrified herself. This mom of hers, perhaps a bit too much. And I sensed her embarrassment. This is a hard place for a mom, when they're not five anymore ...

I looked out at the people in the mall and I held back tears over independence, struggle, metamorphosis and stretching wings. I found myself mourning a time that went by too fast--without warning so I could give it a proper goodbye. Now, just a memory, and me wondering when did this happen?

This ride, it goes too fast.


Anonymous said...

As one who has been there, I assure you that things get even better as the kids become independent, and start relating to you as equals, and not as children. Childhood is great, but adulthood is even better. But keep very close and non-judgemental to your kids, for they will shut down if criticised as they are sensitive teens.

Courtney said...

Pete! So glad you came by. Thanks for the advice. BTW, I signed the kids up for VBS again this year. We should meet if you're in town.