Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That spoonful of sugar

Dancing Chimney Sweeps

Jumping into chalk drawings

Flying kites

Spoonfuls of sugar

A movie I enjoyed watching as a kid, Mary Poppins could be described as any of those things above.

A quirky woman comes to a house of two children who are in need of a fun nanny to spice things up.

That's probably how I would have described it to you.

I hadn't watched that movie in years.  Certainly not since I had my own children.

But the other night we watched it as a family (which was brought about after a discussion of "Let's go fly a kite!")

As I sat on the floor, snuggling Madeline in my lap, a new theme emerged.

And it was solidified in the closing scenes of the movie.  Bert put is best when he sang:

You've got to grind, grind, grind
At that grindstone
Though child'ood slips like sand through a sieve
And all too soon they've up grown
And then they've flown
And it's too late for you to give

Maybe I'm late to the party, but I hadn't caught that theme before now.  Maybe this being the first time I had watched it as a parent had something to do with it, too.

What I do know is that this classic has jumped to the top of my favorites list.  Right along with Princess Bride and While You Were Sleeping.

We can invest our time into a lot of things.  But at the end of the day, time invested into our children reaps greater rewards.

My world was calm, well ordered, exemplary
Then came this person, with chaos in her wake
And now my life's ambitions go with one fell blow
It's quite a bitter pill to take

This was said about Mary Poppins, but I think I could place my children into that role.

I like neat.

I like order.

But children rarely follow that pattern.

And that is OK.  Because someday they won't be around.  The little pictures won't be taped on the walls in random places.  The handprint smudges won't be on the mirrors.  I won't have cute little undies and socks to launder and fold.

A spoonful of sugar that is all it takes
It changes bread and water into tea and cakes
A spoonful of sugar goes a long, long way
'Ave yourself a 'ealthy 'elpin' ev'ry day 

And reminding myself of these fleeting years is a bit like that spoonful of sugar.

Because already I am past those sleepless nights of newborns.  Spit up.  Diapers.

But I am also past those days of babbling babies in cribs, sweet baby breath, and tiny toes.

There are beautiful things to capture in each stage of a child's life.

They just sometimes get lost in the shuffle of schedules, meal prep, and obligations.

So right now I want to savor the 4-year-old's princess drawings, the Kindergartener's love notes left on the bathroom mirror, and the 1st graders knock-knock jokes.

Because I don't want to miss that sand as it seeps through the sieve.  


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