Scamper scamper.
August 13, 2010

Last week, Charlotte saw the spray fountain at the park and I swear her jaw hit the ground.  We go to the same park at least twice a week and the spray fountain has been on every day for the past two or three months, but there was something about it this time.

Something about the kids frolicking in and out of the water, filling buckets and splashing about and squirting water pistols.  Something about the water trickling down, splashing every direction, glimmering in the sunshine.  Something about the laughing and the screaming and the fact that I forgot to pack a bathing suit…

Something she could not resist.

Charlotte looked up at me like THIS IS FOR ME? and then let go of my hand and ran.  Not walked.  Not toddled.  RAN.  She ran into the spray fountain with giddy excitement without looking back.

Once upon a time, a fellow mother told me that the greatest comfort of a mother is in knowing that her child no longer needs her.  And that the greatest sorrow of a mother is in knowing that her child no longer needs her.

I thought about that, as I watched my daughter kick up her heels in the summer light.  I thought about her chasing her dreams, delighting in this world, reaching for happiness, running toward certain joy.

And I thought, NAH, there is no grief here.  There is comfort, there is astonishment, there is a mental reminder to bring a towel to the park next time.  But she let go, she ran forward, she did not look back.  In that moment, she did not need me.

But there is no grief here.  There is only the whisper of a mother’s heart.  A whisper that says RUN, sweet child of mine.  Run.


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  1. By on August 13, 2010

    so precious

  2. By Cynthia A on August 13, 2010

    I love this post for so many reasons, thank you :)

  3. By Mailis on August 13, 2010

    I totally just teared up, darnit.

    *siiiiigh*

  4. By Amber @ Nater Tot on August 13, 2010

    Mailis - I just teared up too! I swear, it’s getting ridiculous. Everytime time I read your posts lately, Sarah, I cry! It’s so funny too, because we JUST got back from a park in a neighboring town with a very similar sounding water area. Nate’s only crawling yet, so he couldn’t scamper - or RUN - off but he sure had his eyes on that water. Those eyes said, “I’LL BE BACK FOR YOU!“

  5. By Ruth Berry on August 13, 2010

    you seriously need to write a book for moms.  Your writings would be an amazing Mother’s Day gift. 

    ...excuse me while I have a moment.

  6. By Claudia Guerreiro on August 13, 2010

    that is so great! i hope i feel the same way when Lily runs…

  7. By on August 13, 2010

    She is just beautiful.

  8. By Jill on August 14, 2010

    You have just the sentiments I would wish to have as a mother someday. We should always remember to rejoice about our child growing and learning. I think it helps us to let go at the time.

  9. By Ally on August 14, 2010

    Favorite.  Seriously.

  10. By Tracy Roberts on August 14, 2010

    This is why I love your blog.  You make me laugh, you make me cry!

  11. By tracy on August 16, 2010

    I’m fairly certain that every post I have partially composed in my head has already been written by somebody else before me. (won’t stop me from writing it, still). But yeah, I’m totally with you on this, too.

    Ellis calls out “HI KIDS!“ from accross our fence & her voice is finally loud enough for the kids to hear her & answer back. The first time I heard that “HI ELLIS!“ in response & the look of total joy on my girl’s face, my heart about broke from glee.

    Last weekend we had a block party & rib cook-off, and it was the first time Ellis really ran around with the other kids (all older, some as old as 10ish) by herself. It was pure awesome to see my baby run around all independant-like & not looking back for mama & daddy, but also pure torture to let my baby girl go. I’d see a group of kids go running by, hear crying, and see poor Ellis on the ground because she got knocked over & no one stopped to help her up. Or, to let her be around the older children like Emma, who has a little potty mouth & an attitude. (none of the parents are fans of Emma, fyi)

    Motherhood is a constant state of evolving emotions.

  12. By on August 17, 2010

    I love this post!  So so sweet!  My daughter has been independent from day 1 so when she started walking (running) she rarely looked back.  Now at almost 3 years old she wants to do everything by herself.  I don’t feel sorrow, I feel proud and joyful of the “kid” she has become and is still becoming.

  13. By Donna on August 17, 2010

    This post is so precious and I love the photos!


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