It is a strange feeling when you look at your baby and see a man. It wasn't that long ago when I counted his lifetime in days and then weeks and months... even after his first year, he was still twelve months old. When you're a new parent, months hold so many new milestones you feel the need to include them all.
"My son is about to be 144 months old."
2. I had to stop reading the news. I am reading it again -- now -- after weeks of pulling myself away. Nothing made sense any more. Maybe it's always been like that but I had to take care of myself. I had to focus -- eye on the prize -- on something hopeful. My children give me hope. I read the stories on the wall of our school -- the politically charged eight year olds in my daughter's class whose heroes are women who dissent.
Fable wrote a scathing letter to the man we call president. She wrote one to her hero, too. She started a blog of her own. It's about politics and girl power. It's private for now, but we've already talked about her taking over mine. Girl's Gone Riled.
I found Archer in the adult section of the book store the other day -- after polishing off Animal Farm he wanted to read 1984 on the plane. We read the same kinds of books now. It's amazing, actually, to have a child who isn't really one at all anymore.
Everything is falling apart but our children are learning what to do with the pieces. They are learning and caring and working on strengthening their minds and voices -- they are sharpening their words and finding ways to use them and I am so proud.
What will we call this time in ten years? I feel like I'm staring out the window, somewhere between THEN and SOMEDAY.
You cannot cross a bridge without recognizing there will be many things you leave behind.
5. In transit, the scenery blurs. You are on the train because you know where you want to end up but when that where is new, nothing out the window looks familiar. You know you are on a train but when you're not driving, you just have to trust. You have to sit down and say OKAY. WE ARE GOING SOMEWHERE. PLEASE LET US ARRIVE. Faith, some would call that. For others it's just knowing when to pull back and breathe.
And to recognize that even in breath, there is a moment between inhale and exhale that is just...
Twelve years later, there is no sign of the baby -- instead a young man, about my size calls me mom. Tells me to sit three rows back at the school concert, to park down the street when I pick him up from school.
It hurt at first -- and then I remembered what it felt like to have a mom in front of my friends at his age. I remember what it's like, I tell him. It's cool. I'll be across the street when you need me.
Growing pains are for parents, too. I am learning how not to take it personally when he pushes me away -- working to better understand his signals so I can flash mine in response from across the tracks. Detachment parenting.
"I'm here. Do you see me?"
He tells me he does.
Today, I'm taking a breather. This post is my breath.
Thank you all for your patience and support. Thank you for posting about Pans and sharing and giving and asking friends to do the same. Thank you for being my posse. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN ME. Thank you for rallying around me and this project. Thank you for helping us get up the mountain.
We are currently 84% there with 8 days to go... If you haven't backed us yet, please consider doing so today. We are SO CLOSE.