Ran 5 miles before the sun rose on Saturday. Watched the sky turn pale opalescent shades of fuchsia, violet and navy. Then a soft glow of pink, like God doing a magic trick. “Look! I do this every morning, and each one is different!” What a show off.
I’ve been pondering the finite nature of our lives. Time is the most precious commodity we have. I don’t know how much I truly have. I spend some every day, not knowing if this is the last day I’ll have on this planet.
It hit me hard yesterday. The kids are growing up. Zac has one more year with us, then he’s off to college. He towers over me and grows more manly by the day.
Ruby’s not a tiny girl anymore. We got pedicures together on Saturday, her first ever.
“She’s a pretty girl,” the nail tech said. She proceeded to paint tiny flowers on Ruby’s big toes, complete with a teensy gem in the center of each.
Ruby didn’t know what to do with the compliment, in part because of the tech’s accent. She’s at the very beginning of having her own identity outside of Zac’s little sister and one of our family. But Ruby doesn’t think of herself primarily as pretty. She’s an artist, an animal lover and funny girl who makes up her own songs and graphic stories.
She’s always been pretty. She was a cherubic baby and a tiny, strong, cheeky little mite. No awkward adolescence looms in her future, as far as I can see. No prolonged geeky stage, with frizzy hair, hillbilly teeth and chunky glasses like me. No gawky, lanky limbs, refusing to stay covered by sleeves or pants like others I know who actually achieved height. Other than some unfortunate self-imposed haircuts, she’s dodged the bullet of physical weirdness. If she and I had been classmates, I would have envied her natural beauty and funky sense of style. She looks good in everything. Of course, she hasn’t tried on red overalls, my go-to outfit of 6th grade.
But what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to not have arrived yet. Time passes, yes, but it can make us better. We can change. We can grow into what’s next for us; we’re in a constant state of becoming. We don’t have to like it. However, change is inevitable, like the passage of day to night. Nothing stays the same. One day, the world won’t consider Ruby pretty any longer. Her inner, God-given qualities will remain. Let’s make the most of it all.