Oh my! I have felt this before. I have been here before...years ago when my children are little.
As I sit on the edge of my bed and look out the window I feel myself whirling back in time.
Suddenly the sounds, sights and smells of the late evening air embrace me and hold me tight in a place and time I have lived before.
This is a familiar and typical hot, humid, summer night when the air is heavy and damp with a slight breeze pushing through the screened in windows. In the distance I hear the muffled sounds of crickets and frogs chirping and croaking in random chorus. The faint rustling of the leaves on the oak and maple trees whisper quietly and gently in the evening air which carries a faint wisp of freshly cut grass.
In my darkened bedroom the double hung window looks as if it is framing the dim, shadowy outline of the swing set in the back yard. It sits quietly and undisturbed after a busy day of the children climbing, sliding, hanging and swinging on its steel body.
I sit frozen; afraid and hesitant to move for fear of losing this familiar, comfortable moment that I had thought was forever physically lost in time. Is it even remotely possible that I am suddenly able to embody that time from the past which I had lived so routinely on those evenings for so many summers? I am overwhelmed with emotion as tears start to slip effortlessly down my cheeks.
I sense my children asleep in their beds, laying on top of the covers with whirling, rattling fans blowing in their windows. I feel myself in the room checking on them; the boys hair damp from the warmth of the evening and their pajama tops thrown off in an effort to stay cool. Each have a relaxed grip on their worn thin sock monkeys which dangle listlessly over the edge of the bed. I attend to the little girls with their dollies and ni-ni blankets tucked securely under the crook of their arms. So very gently my warm hand slides across their foreheads to lift the random hair strands off their faces in an effort to let the breeze touch and cool their dewy, rosy faces.
My whole body melts with emotion as I literally relive this familiar time. What is this miracle that has enabled me to go back in time? I will myself to relax as I soak up as much as I can without disturbing it. It feels as though a light is beaming down on me and leading me gently back in to the folds of being a young mother with my sweet, precious children. The air around me allows this to happen and I feel as though this must be a dream!
As I rise from my sitting position, the sensation starts to gradually fade and withdraw. I now step slowly in to the hallway and grip the door-frame as I peer in to their now quiet,dark and shadowy empty rooms. There is very little evidence that once their little feet raced and jumped on these floors or their little hands smudged up these windows. These walls will never experience the return of those same voices that once recited nightly, "Now I lay me down to sleep..."
I take a deep breath but instead a sob escapes my lips and my chest shakes with muffled crying. Tears of gratefulness flow from my soul in response to the gift that I was given tonight; the chance to go back and be reminded how amazingly beautiful being a mother is for me.
I lift my eyes upward and whisper, "Thank you."