Am I concerned? I wonder. The world seems concerned: Thirty is ripe for depression and disappointment and regret. Do I regret? Am I disappointed?
But I am not any of those things as I stare down my next birthday. I am not concerned, but...
Shouldn't I feel more like my life is chafing around the edges by now? Like the years behind me were the fruit and all that's left is an empty vine?
I stop. I look to my left. There is Lauren, my middle child, tapping her shoes in her big sister's tap shoes. Hands on hips and smile on lips. She is fruit, and she is my fruit, and she is sweeter than any taste I might have had a dozen years ago.
I look to my right. There is Mia, my first baby, picking out words on a page to make a story. Her voice halts, she tries again, she is proud of success. She is fruit, and she is my fruit, and she is more precious than any experience I hold in my past.
I look in my arms. There is Landon, my tiny boy, wrestling his toes with one dimpled fist. Bubbling lips blow experiments into the air. He is fruit, and he is my fruit, and his future is more wondrous than my history. It is still to be had.
I look up, and there is Justin, my best friend, laughing with me about the chaos of this orchard. His eyes glow and his voice is rich with hope. Together, we have plans and dreams and unspoken vitality, and it includes these children and it exists beyond these children.
We have life here, and it is not an empty vine. New sweetnesses are filling the empty spaces, and will keep doing so again and again, unprompted, unscripted, unbidden.
So I know it to be true: I am not concerned.
We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. This week we are joining Momalom's Five for Five to find the Bigger Picture wrapped up in AGE. Share your link at both Jade's and Momalom's to support each other and find new friends!