Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sparklers, Smiles & Simpler Times

Sparkler time!
Last night, as our 4th of July celebration started to wind down, I sat in my yard and watched as my fiancé lit sparklers for my son and daughter. Their smiles and giggles of pure joy and excitement as they twirled the sparklers in the air warmed my heart. There is just something about sparklers that strikes a chord deep in my soul. And as I painted the sky with my own sparkler, my mind drifted back to when life was so much simpler for me . . .

In my mind, I could see me as a little girl, happy and carefree. Giggling and dancing in the summer breeze, there were times I really did fly. As I spun in circles and closed my eyes, I was soaring high above the ground and hopping from cloud to cloud! And as I tumbled into the cool grass and opened my eyes, I swore I could feel the earth spinning beneath my body.

Nothing seemed impossible in those days, and I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could see the world. Both day and night, my imagination ran wild! I dreamed about rocket ships, deep sea divers, and jungle safaris. I had a LONG list of all the things I wanted to be and planned to do whenever I was an adult, and I was positive I would get to each and every one of them!

Sometimes I wonder how that determined and optimistic little girl grew into me! How did I become so jaded and pessimistic? What happened to my endless imagination and my bright dreams of the future? Is it all gone forever? Or is the girl I used to be still inside me somewhere or active in my dreams at night?

As I watch my own children, so carefree and joyous in their play, I miss that little girl terribly! Most of the time, she feels like a separate entity--like someone that I once knew a long, long ago. I usually only glimpse bits and pieces, fragments of a shattered past. However, once in a while, like today, something triggers a memory buried deep inside, and I can see, hear, and feel her again. It is as though she is alive and well all over again, and my soul wakens in a way it has long forgotten. I feel joy and pure happiness, and my heart is, for a moment, no longer scarred and worn!

I get lost in these moments, so far and in between--so precious, and I stare off into the distance, forgetting for a minute the here and now. But then a giggle or a hug from my children draws me back to the present, reminding me again of how truly I am blessed. At times, I know I’m not the perfect mother, but I take solace in the realization that despite my shortcomings, I have done everything to preserve my children’s innocence and wonder. And I will fight to protect them for as long as I can. If my son and daughter grow up and take with them clear, heartwarming memories of their childhoods, I will know I did part of my job perfectly!

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