Thursday I visited the Huntington Library in beautiful Pasadena. Known for it’s collection of rare and historic books and art, the Huntington also has some of the most beautiful gardens in Los Angeles.
Last time I came here was about three years ago. My babies were little. We spent the whole time at the children’s garden. This was the first time I was able to go by myself and check out other parts of the grounds.
One of the most breathtaking was the Chinese garden. The moment I stepped in I was hit with an overpowering scent of fresh flowers. I found myself wishing my husband, our resident gardener, was here to appreciate it. He’d have loved the painstaking attention to detail. It was so crisp – so thoughtfully organized from the bridge to the wood carved artwork – it made me wonder why I didn’t take time to appreciate places like this more often.
And yet, despite its beauty, a bit of melancholy accompanied me this day. Call it the kids being back in school, or the holiday let down, or maybe just a lack of sleep I’ve encountered this month (die, caffeine, die!) but I just felt antsy.
I wanted to be there – I wanted to appreciate all the art around me – but my eyes kept darting over to the objects that ring the deepest in my heart.
Yeah. Those darn little four-wheel strollers. (Well, some of them were the three-wheel-pivot-$600-costs-as-much-as-a-Mercedes-car-payment-L.A. strollers, but I am more of an Umbrella K-Mart gal. You get my point.)
I don’t feel done with the kids.
I know I’m 42.
Rex is totally over it.
When I think about how much work it would be, and how much less freedom I’d have, and how much less time I’d give to my own grade schoolers, I know it’s the right decision to stop.
Perhaps, when I really dig deep, I want the opportunity for a fresh start. I want to hold that “perfect” newborn in my arms and enjoy those precious few years before diagnoses hit… before reality hits… before I started worrying about “what could be” and simply enjoyed every little coo, sigh and milestone in the present.
I know that nothing in life is perfect, and there’s no guarantee a new child would escape any issues. In fact, there’s a decent chance that he or she would come against something because that’s what life does to all of us: it hits us in one way or another. There’s no escaping it.
That aside, though, I want the magic back.
Of course I have the magic with my little ones at home now, and a baby simply grows up also, but the truth is, these children are the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. Call me a proud collector, but I wouldn’t mind acquiring a few more prized possessions.
Anyone else feel like that?