The term "blue hour" comes from a French expression l'heure bleue, which refers to twilight, the period each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day and because this is often when the smell of the flowers is at their strongest. In literature, this term often symbolizes a period of innocence.
My vision of the blue hour is the very first light of the morning which creeps its way through the windows, the trees outlined starkly in contrast to the cool and yet, comforting blue hues in the sky. I saw the blue hour this morning as my youngest crawled into bed with me. It was a rare night of musical beds. Though everyone began in their own beds, in the morning I found myself in Sadie's bed, Sadie was on her trundle bed and Lily was in my bed, until she sought me out once again this time in Sadie's bed. I remember when the musical beds game was routine for us, over 2 years ago. That is one rite of passage I am glad is pretty much behind us.
As Lily crawled in behind me in Sadie's white sleigh bed, I gazed through the white wooden blinds. I thought about that "period of innocence" so perfectly on display by the azure sky this morning. My Lily will graduate in a couple of weeks from preschool, marking the end of one title I have held for 7 years, "Mom of a Preschooler." But, in the last couple of weeks she has met the world in all of its rudeness head on. Another child laughed at her, remarking that she has crisscrossed eyes, giggling at her glasses. Lily ran to me, crying at the hurt she just experienced. It was her first insight into being different. It was her first introduction that something might be wrong with her. It was her first experience that others can simply be mean. My heart rushed to comfort her. I was stunned at the cruelty of another child at such a young age. But, I remained fixed and focused on healing her hurts. As I wiped away the tears, I wanted to wipe this encounter away from her memory as well. The impact of this moment did not escape me. It was the dwindling of her innocence, the end of the blue hour.
The days go by slowly, but the years are flying by. More times this year than ever, I have had older mothers and grandmothers tell me to cherish these times, each and every day. Their advice is given at random in the grocery store, at the park, at school. Sometimes it seems I am scrambling, a day late in capturing and holding onto those moments. School work comes home in droves, showing the progression with the ages. Lily can now write several words and seems to amble around, paper and pen always toted along with her. Sadie is completely immersed in some serious chapter books, but still devotes energy to catch lizards along the driveway and crayfish in the creek. Ethan is plotting his 9th birthday party and prospective gifts. We spent time today putting together the Mouse Trap contraption in the game with the same name. He never fails to be appreciative of the undivided time I give to him.
Similar to the incident with Lily on the playground, I see the bits of innocence being chipped away from all three of my children. As they age, their exposure to the world increases, and their sense of security will inevitably decrease. I hope and pray that their hearts will remain full of optimism, courage, creativity, confidence, self-assurance; in the light of l'heure bleue.