I hate being busy.
The way things pile up around me, needing to be done. They're stern-faced tasks, some of them. But some are sweet, happy obligations. No matter; I hate being busy.
And this week has been gutted of time. I stepped one foot over the edge of last week, expecting to slowly wade into a gentle, ankle-lapping stream, but instead I've plunged, sprawling, into a hidden dropoff. I can't feel the bottom, and I can't stop tumbling.
I should be making tonight's dinner right now -- at nine o'clock in the morning -- because my afternoon is sectioned off already into things that cannot be ignored.
Oh, but I'm good at ignoring. I procrastinate with insane dedication, until simple busyness becomes a frightful, stressful week.
Which is what has become of this week.
And at the coffee table, my Lauren is playing with tiny, pinkish dolls. She is proud because she got dressed so quickly this morning in one of my favorite outfits -- a wide, swirling, fiesta skirt with a matching top. The matching part is irregular; she usually chooses color with abandon. Like she's collecting rainbows on her person.
She speaks under her breath to the dolls, making distinct voices for each. Imbuing them with personality and intention and relationship. I see the slope of tiny shoulders and the tips of tiny, busy fingers. But they're suddenly huge. Only in a flash, for one part of a second, I see her for what she is:
a little girl. Growing.
And today is the last day I will ever call her three years old. She'll be four in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, before we stretch away from our sleep. I'll greet a four-year-old at breakfast.
I don't see that she's been the better part of four for months now. I don't see that days have all added up to a culmination; I only see that the number is flipping from little to big.
I've been so busy with making party preparations and meeting the nonstop needs of life that it takes me somewhat by surprise, today.
There is a flowering meadow between the two, opening into collected rainbows of color and reaching to the sun. And I might have been too busy to notice.