27 July 2008


I have a lot of friends with kids. Sibs with kids, too. Only here's the thing: Peter and I were pretty much the first among us to have a child. So I feel compelled to share with you all that I am currently in the throes of what feels like a solar wind (you know, that phenom of waves that engulf the Earth and cause Northern lights?) Like, a momentary swirl of energy that seems to be changing everything. And in my case, accelerating it.

I have a son who is taller than me. He's grown 6 inches in 6 months, blink and you'll miss it. I just flipped through a bunch of photos I had posted on Facebook, and in none of them is he taller than me (or his older sister, for that matter). Suddenly, now: young man. Will shares a bunk bed with the thankfully-still-small Des, and when I go in to check on Des before I go to bed...there's this hulking guy whose feet don't fit in the lower bunk! Ack! Oh. Right.

Then there's this college business. I know, I wrote about this before. I've written a lot about Zoe this year. But from the slow, tortuous agony of getting applications in and visiting campuses and whatnot, I find myself the mom of a young woman ready to go to the next stage. She's not chomping at the bit, nor is she packing yet (she's my daughter, after all). But I tell you she is ready. Composed, whole, and so prepared to immerse herself in art-making and learning. This summer, she's juggling two jobs. In light of my own work-juggling life, this means we are the proverbial passing ships. I'm shaking my head because, again, it's as though a wand had been waved. Swoosh! Presto-chango.

And about those two youngers who are perpetually called youngers? Lydia is getting astonishingly tall and self-confident. She is comfortable with herself. I find myself wondering now whether that is the quality that sent all of her care providers into a she-needs-to-be-tested mode. She's just not like any of her peers. Never was, never will be. And as she ages, she inhabits that knowledge beautifully. There's awkwardness about her, don't get me wrong. But I am filled with pride at her emergence.

Desmond is still my "huggy!" guy. Unlike the others, his growth spurts have been modest (although size 6 pants are waaay in the past now). When he hugs me, he's still at my waist. His tangle of curls is right at the level of my hand to tousle it. He loves it when I do that. Still, stay tuned. The potential energy in him is vast. :)

I am changing, too. (That's the understatement of the year.) It roils me and thrills me. But as with the Northern lights, my bursts of color and creating feel as though they are out of my direct control...they're happening because they must. Also, to complete the family-unit analysis, none of my life changes can occur without the complaint-free adaptations of Peter. He is demonstrating grace and quiet support that I have seen many, many times: with my grandfather; in the labor room; during Mom's illness (and before it became obvious); pretty much every day, dealing with an absorbed, spacey, enthusiastic, broody wife. Peter = rock. I learned that in CCD, and it's still the truth.

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