May I Have Your Eyes?

Getting older wasn’t something I noticed much in my early twenties. What I mean is, time then seemed to crumble off in manageable bites, like feta cheese. Bite sized and easy. So many delicious moments to myself, so much time ahead of me.
Then I turned thirty. I had a moment when I looked around and felt lost. How did I get here, and what is this place called? Is this old? With time, I decided no. I shopped at Anthropologie- stayed busy in my teaching job. I happily tossed out clothes that I had kept from high school. Good riddance, silly girl. I felt generally in control of the pace of life. Like on a bicycle.
Then at 33 I was slammed with a powerful longing to have a baby. I had one. Then a few years later I had another. Then I quit my job to stay home with the kids.
And now suddenly, I’m on the cusp of turning 40. Is this old? I’m getting out the big, fat eraser and redrawing the START and STOP lines. Maybe old is just a notion. It’s a vague collection of impressions about grandparents from your childhood. I can redefine old if I want to.
But even as I buy wrinkle cream and color my hair and follow links online to the newest, trendy stuff to make me feel invincible, God is talking to me.
It goes like this:
Every morning when we arrive at her classroom door, my son’s Kindergarten teacher bends down, smiles big and bright at him, then reaches up and cradles his face in her hands. And then she says, “Good morning, Ace. May I have your eyes?” She’s asking him to turn his attention from all the distractions around him. She’s asking for his eyes to lock steady right on hers. Only when he turns his gaze on her does she tell him what he needs to do first to make the school day go well. His first instructions of the day start when he turns his eyes to her.
In my last year of my thirties, God says to me when I first wake up, “Good morning, Jess. May I have your eyes?”
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).