Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller

Well, it's happened again. The school year has slipped through my fingers like so much shifting sand. It happens every year and still somehow it's a surprise when it's all come to an end so quickly. And this year it's all the more so because it is Ainsley's last year of preschool. I cannot believe I am at this precipice so soon. I look down from this height and see a cliff that, sheer though it may be isn't all that scary. Progress is good. Kinder is a safe place to land. It's the right time for it yet my heart (and throat) has more than a little catch in it these past few days.

For nine years I've had a little lovie at home with me. It surely doesn't seem that long ago that I'd tote Emerson with me everywhere I'd go. We were constant companions. For three years it was just the two of us all day long.

So tiny and perfect and sleepy. That girl always slept like a dreamer. Still does. Dreams deeply, thinks deeply, feels in the depths of her almost nine year old heart. Yesterday she came home from school so happy that she'd finished reading a book about Helen Keller. She's completed a school unit on Helen and knows more about her than I ever did.

Yesterday she was telling me and Ainsley about the story. How she was in a group reading it with others and when she got to the story's end she had tears pooled in her eyes. For the Scarlet Fever or meningitis that took her sight and hearing, for the battle that came in trying to navigate the world without those senses that we all take for granted. For the maddening struggle to get the concept that every object has a unique word identifying it. But yesterday my girl wept for the beauty that was born in the struggle...through the struggle. That because of Helen's tremendous scrappy perseverance and strength she learned to communicate in a way unknowable to most people who walk the earth. She became the first blind and deaf person to ever receive her bachelor's degree. That forty-six years after her death we're all inspired by her life.

I wanted to stop the world from spinning in that moment. To pause time and forever watch the way Emerson's eyes glistened as she told of the amazing beauty that came from ashes. The maturity in her outlook floored me and once again I was humbled by what a beauty the little love has become. Oh.my.heart.

And so it is the week we celebrate our second-born's achievement - the milestone of moving on and into elementary school. And celebrate we shall. But right now my heart is thinking of my hope fulfilled. The girl who burst into the world and cranked up the color and lights and beauty. So much beauty.

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