There is some truth in the old saying, take time to smell the roses. It’s about quality of life. Subjective it may be, but necessary.
As a single mother I had a demanding job while being a mother to two little children, and studying part time. The only time I had to study was in the early hours of the morning between 4 am and 7 am. I had four weeks paid holidays a year. Every day of those holidays went into studying for exams or writing up a major assignment. I learnt in those early days it was necessary to centre myself. If I didn’t, the welfare of children was at stake. It was a steep learning curve. In hindsight, I made mistakes along the way. My children have been quick to erase them with their resilience and good humour. Challenging it may have been, but my journey with the children in those early years seems to have been too short.
The last few days have been grey with steady drizzle. The roses are ready to shed their petals. There is a fragility to them. A drop of rain seems to weigh them down. They reflect how I feel.
It is my son’s engagement party tonight. I can’t help but feel emotional. He proposed to his fiancee several months ago. She is a jewellery maker. He, on the other hand, knows nothing about jewellery. So naturally he asked me what kind of ring he should buy. I told him, the best he could afford. He gave her a platinum and emerald cut diamond ring. He used some of his savings. He did not want to start a new life in debt. He proposed to her on an empty stage. Unknown to her, there were about 60 friends and family in the darkened theatre. He wanted every one of us to be there to share in the moment. Public it may have been, but what he said to her remains private between the two of them. It was his moment of quality.
My children are with good people. Each of them have found someone compatible. Someone they can share life with. Someone with similar values. Someone who loves them. It almost feels selfish to ask for more.
As busy people and my frequent travel, we meet as a family over dinner every few weeks. Sometimes, longer. Yet, when we do, the atmosphere is happy and loud. They share their lives with each other with enthusiasm. These are quality moments and they actively seek them out. My son once promised me, quite spontaneously, should anything happen to me, he would ensure the tradition of these dinners would continue. Far from feeling affronted by his candour, I was elated.
My son’s promise is like the recent rain. Unexpected. Enlivening a tired garden, where beautiful things will continue to grow.
If nothing else, I hope I have taught my children of the value of quality over quantity. Judging from the choices they are making in their life, perhaps, I have.
Until next time …
a dawn bird