Friday, June 16, 2017

the zoo

The day after he graduated high school, my boy and I went to the zoo, just the two of us.

Since he was an itty-bitty he has studied animals.  He would pour over his Killer Creatures book for hours.  He would read the animal encyclopedia to his brother and memorize the habits of various critters.  He is always my go-to resource when it concerns anything living.

So a trip to the zoo was actually kind of a big deal.

And I asked him to drive...on the Seattle.

Good times with my boy.

You've never seen so much joy until you've seen my Austin light up in the presence of river otters.  By far the highlight of his day was the time we spent with the otters.  He recorded them, he photographed them, he sat with them and just watched.
Have you ever tried to watch an otter and not smile?  I don't think it's possible.

I had a moment with a baby gorilla.  It was a highlight for me.
And the giraffes.  I was astounded my how gentle they can be.
Hippopotamus.  Swimming silently.  So much power.
And hanging out with my Austin.
It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

we go on, he goes on

From day one as parents you dream and ponder and imagine what your little bundle will become, what their little speaking voice will sound like with those first few words, how their personality will bloom over time, and which side of the family they will most favor. 

You think about the milestones and the accomplishments that lay ahead.  And it feels as if you have all the time in the world, that somehow, those things in the future will always be just an indistinct, hazy dream.

But the years have a way of gaining speed, the moments building on each other like snowflakes in an avalanche.

NJROTC Awards Night ~ 2016-17 Rifle Team





Now that we are on the other side of our first-born's high school graduation I think I can say I have gained some perspective.  There is relief that it is over. 

All those eighteen years of looking toward it in wonder, like something just out of reach, something to be all at once dreaded and pursued, it is finally over and we can move past.  And it wasn't really all that scary.  It wasn't really all that terrible. 

It was a progression, a door to step through, a page to turn.

For myself, I allowed my emotions to seep through my hands as I ironed his graduation gown and the gold sash.  I mixed my emotions into the chocolate cupcakes I baked and decorated that day.  I wrote my emotions on his car windows in the form of bright window paint and words of congratulations. 

My emotions stuck in my throat the moment the high school band began to play Pomp and Circumstance.  When they called his name to walk the stage all his 18 years flashed through my mind and my mothering heart leapt with pride and love and grief and relief.

And we go on. 

He goes on.

(see him there, in the very center?)

Friday, June 9, 2017

putting joy on canvas

The sun shines despite the dark gray clouds.  A chill breeze carries the song of sparrows and finches.  Charlie and I are home alone, he laying in a sliver of sunlight on the floor next to me.  My coffee has gone cold again.

My to-do list sits heavily to my left.  The day is mostly mine although I do have a shift at the restaurant this evening.  I will make double chocolate chip cookies for the wrestling car wash tomorrow.  I will make time in the garden replanting some things that didn't take, hoping for a late harvest before fall's first frost.

My thirty-ninth birthday is next week.  I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.  I certainly don't feel the age, almost forty when I don't feel much more than twenty-five.  I'm thankful for the years, for the lessons life has taught me.

Here I stand at this new fork in the road, this junction between where I've been and where I want to be.  I wrote down the parts of life that bring me the most joy, a list of things I'm passionate about.  I studied the list, carried it with me for months.  And came to the conclusion that I need to build my life around those things.

I stepped away from the job I had as an office assistant.  It did not serve me well.  And now, with no clear direction ahead I step into this new idea that I must turn the things that bring me joy into my life.

Freelance is the term.  Gray, fuzzy details are the current game.

It is somewhat like seeing a beautiful painting in your mind, beautiful brush strokes, vivid colors, seamless blending, a stirring rendition of what is in the heart, but I'm not a painter.  All I have are a few broken, dirty crayons and a crumpled piece of paper.  How can I put to canvas this painting in my mind with the tools I currently have?

As with the rest of this one life, it shall be a grand adventure, I'm sure.  Stay tuned for changes.