Sunday, January 13, 2008

Playgrounds

Last weekend, Gregg and I went for a walk in the neighborhood where my Nana used to live. In it is a park where we have taken our kids to play, which has a big, elaborate jungle-gym and lots of things to climb. On that Sunday, the sun was sliding low in the sky, the light was gentle and the air was crisp as we walked by the park. I said to Gregg that it hit me suddenly: no more playgrounds. Our kids passed that age in a flash.

Katie and David have always loved swings, so Gregg put one up in our woods, above our home. Our property slopes downhill from the road, through the woods to our house, and then down a path to the beach. The swing affords a view over the top of our house, Agate Passage and Bainbridge Island. The kids were still using it this summer, swinging high in the air over the sloping ground. They also liked to climb trees in our woods.

When our children were little, people always told me how fast the time goes by, but to me, in that period, time seemed to crawl. Now, it feels like it passed in a brief flash. I guess when you are looking back, it is a different sense of time and perspective than when you are immersed in the needs and demands of the moment.

When Katie was diagnosed with cancer, she was 11 and a half years old. We weren't doing alot of playground time by then, but it wasn't completely over. It is now. We are not the parents of little kids anymore; David is 15 years old. Our only child at home is a young man, whose voice is dropping, who shaves and is about to begin Driver's Training.
It seems as if we lost more than a year when we left home for Seattle to get treatment for Katie's cancer. It feels as if we lost a whole chunk of their childhood, that blurry time when you are moving forward and back at will, not a little kid, but not a grown-up yet, either. That phase has passed now, along with our beautiful, only daughter.

There are many smaller griefs marbled in with the one huge grief of having a child pass away, and I guess this is one of them.

1 comment:

Karla W. said...

When Mandi was 2 I went into a huge depression. All I could figure was that it was because I wanted to have my kids 2 years apart so that they would always have eachother to love, play with and fight with.

Even though my kids were born 12+ years apart I still see that connection.

It does go by so quickly. I can understand the feeling of missing that and send hugs your way.