September 19, 2012

Caitlin and her harp
 Do you ever have those moments when something hits you smack in the face and you think...whoa, when did THAT happen?!  Moments like when, in spite of having experienced and enjoyed every moment of my son's engagement and wedding, the first time he came to Sunday dinner after the wedding I looked down and saw his left hand with his wedding ring, and it hit me...where had my little boy gone?  Another such moment happened this Monday when my son was going back to college after our emergency trip to Pittsburgh, and we loaded my daughter's harp into the SUV for him to deliver to her apartment.  I've helped her pack, unpack, design and decorate her dorm rooms and apartments many times over the past four years, but this is the first time her harp has left our home.  And once again, it hit me....this was it.  The harp probably wouldn't come back to our house, it would move with her after graduation to wherever her life leads her.  Another part of childhood...gone.  I love the amazing young adults my children have become, but oh, how I miss the childhood laughter.  I think perhaps Longfellow was feeling some of the same emotions when he penned one of my all-time favorite poems:

The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditi,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Have a great day!

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