The glitter covered microphone sparkles under the stage lights, tightly grasped in her small hands while she twirls her dress.

Because dresses should twirl you know.

source
She brushes the stray curls from her eyes, squinting past the glare of the lights and into the crowd.
I know she is searching for me.
I wave; but she can't find me --- I wait for the moment of panic, or distress.
I've been here before.  Twice.
It doesn't come.
Instead, her smile is bright - like a bright force of Nature of its' own.    Her small lips already silently mouthing the words before the song begins.

"Don't Stop Believin'
... hold onto that feeling...."
 My vision blurs briefly as I feel the warm sting of tears held back.    Can I?
Can I hold onto this feeling?    This moment?  Can't we stay here awhile?

"Just a small town girl..."
This is my 3rd - and final - Kindergarten graduation.
There will be no more.
The last time I watch one of my little birds spread its wings, and take that leap out into a bigger world.  A bigger playground with no fences, that beckons beyond the former safety of this glitter filled world.

No  more finger paint portraits on my fridge.
No  more brown paper bag puppets in my kitchen drawers.
No crafts soaked and hardened in white glue.   Or glitter glue that leaves a fine dust over my entire house.  (fine, not too upset by that one.)

I didn't think I'd be sad.
I've been here before.  Twice.
Three times

"it goes on and on and on and on..."
 The feeling is bittersweet.  I see my son standing with his friends, as I glance around the gymnasium. Too cool at 10 and 1/2 years to be in the school talent show.   Yet I remember his own big smile as he searched through those bright lights not so long ago.

I know now, if I go over to him, two things will happen:
1) he will be as tall as my shoulders
2) he will die of embarrassment

Two ends of the spectrum.   One who still searches for me in the dark; another who avoids eye contact At All Costs.   And somewhere in this noisy, crowded auditorium, sits the third.   And let's be honest; she's probably accountable for at least a third of the noise.
She's not likely to search for me.   I probably don't even exist in whatever world is currently swirling inside her blond head; but - if she sees me, the force of her running embrace is likely to knock me over.  And several small children around me.   She's always been a hugger.   And that's just her heart.

"hold onto that feeling..."
Three little birds.


 One mama watching.  Waiting.  Searching through the dark for who will spread their wings.
Breath held.
Did I teach you enough?

 "some will win...
.... some will lose..."
 Fly!
I actually whisper the word; much to my surprise.  Though the mama's heart shouts back: "No! Stay!  Don't let go!

Oh the heart whisper sounds as a might roar, doesn't it mamas?
But this letting go - I may as well try and hold back the tide, than try to prevent this change.

"some were born to sing the blues..."
From the stage, her little voice rings out loud and clear with the rest of her class.   They've changed some of the words, but the original overlays in my head.   When she's finished, she's supposed to sit down with her class.  She won't.   I know this.   The tiny wave tells me: I'm spotted!

She comes running over, even before the final note dies.

"Mommy, Mommy!!! I'm in Grade One now!! I'm a big girl."

The heart sighs even louder than the whisper.   It places it's bets against great odds.

"paying anything to roll the dice..."
Stay.
Fly.

In the flash of her smile and bright eyes, it hits me: her excitement is contagious.
SHE WANTS TO FLY!  

Suddenly, I realize how proud I am that she has embraced this change; this new world, with her usual enthusiasm.   Unbridled.  No Fear:  just Adventure Ahead!   She is not thinking of the new challenges she will face.   That Grade One might be harder.  Homework!  New friends!  New rules!

No - those thoughts all belong to me, as my mind wants to race ahead, as though I could change the future simply by wishing it not to be.
She only thinks: I did it!!  I graduated!

She is NOW. 

This present moment is all she grasps and holds and savours.

"going anywhere..." 
I bite my lip and will my misty eyed vision to clear.   BE HERE WITH HER!!  NOW!!!
Forget the letting gos and the what may comes, and even what has come before.

All we two have is Now.   And it's beautiful.
It's sticky glittery microphones and lights and sweet voices, and even that sneaky smile you caught from the boy on the cusp of letting go.... and holding on.    It's hugs so big you can't stand up under the force of love.

Hold onto THIS.

and don't ever stop believing:  in the power of Now. 



A quick edit I did - because we are off into the woods again!!
If you like doing digital art, you can drop by Claudia's on Saturday to link up your creation.

See ya in a week!