We are winding down our Tennessee vacation…
This morning we huddled together, 3 generations of Pohlkotte men and two sassy Pohlkotte girls, and counted down the final space shuttle launch.
After dinner, we sat on the porch as Ava reveled in the wonder that is collecting things…this time, rocks. For every rock she added to her collection, I asked her to tell me what it was about that rock that made it stand out to her.
Finally, she found a rock different then the rest she had been choosing. When I asked her about it her eyes shone “I think the “ampstronuts” (astronauts) dropped this from their rocket on the MOON.”
…and there it was… a little piece of the moon.
She danced about regaling her luck at being at the spot where the moon had fallen. This enchantment lasted a better part of an hour before her big brother made his appearance. She clutched his hand as she told him her find and his eyes darted to me, pleading with me to affirm that this was true.
And with a single nod of my head, his joy weaved tight with his sister, and together they were the richest souls on earth.
A while later (after a potty stop, where I did have to answer how astronauts handled the bathroom situation in space) Ava and I rejoined the group and Owen demanded to be heard. “That’s not the moon, it’s just ground up concrete… I knew it couldn’t be true. ”
That moment, I watched as my first born, standing there on the porch, plant his feet firmly on the ground, as the whispers of childhood went running past him, leaving only the man I see forming before me.
And as Ava and I boarded our spaceship, he adamantly refused to come along, claiming that we were still in fact, on earth, no matter how realistic the blast off noises I made were.
I did my best to get him back on board, turning Layla into a moon dog and his dad into a slimy alien. And to his credit, he did enjoy hunting aliens and the like, but I knew he was past me,
but not just past me….past the land where mothers and fairies meet. Where any object takes you to a far off place, and you have no regard to who may or may not be there with you…you gladly go with your parents, your siblings, or, most often, alone.
I am painfully aware of these moments moving swiftly around me. Every morning Ava’s neck grows longer, her shaping movements gracefully feminine. Every time Owen plunks down beside me, I am aware he no longer fits perfectly in my arms…his knobby knees extend past me with his legs racing down his future path.
As I tucked Ava into bed tonight her last whispered words to me were:
“I’m so glad we found the moon together, just me and you.”
I could only reply:
“I will wait for you there, any time you wish to return”