The other day I was running some errands with my two youngest in tow. Except that at one point, toward the end, Isaac wasn't "in tow." He was a step ahead of me as we crossed the parking lot to the office supply store. He was walking rather slowly and I kept tripping over his heels, so I stepped left and forward to walk alongside him, hoping to inspire a slightly quicker pace.
He cut me off, without even turning his head.
I stepped to my right. He cut me off again.
Same story - with each step, there he was. And he never even looked at me. What, is this kid psychic? I thought. How does he do that?
"Mom, look! I'm walking in your shadow!" he exclaimed, and there was my answer.
And it occurred to me that motherhood is a lot like that. When I don't think my children are watching me (or listening to a word I say,) I often find their little feet planted firmly in my shadow. Though their steps are slow and sometimes shaky, they are careful to stay in bounds. And I hope that as they go out into the world, that when I can't be there, they will still see my shadow gently showing the way, and walk in it.