in transit the scenery blurs

1. He turns twelve tomorrow. An age that is as between as it gets. I remember when he turned ten, feeling like, here we go... and now, here we are, pushing through space between months and years and numbers that mean more than they did, even last year.

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."
The last year of his boyhood. Next summer he will have his Bar Mitzvah. That is legit man stuff right there. How did we get here so fast. That is not a question. I know how it all went down. I was there. It feels like it blurred but it didn't. And I'm so glad I wrote it down. Even the hard parts.
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. 
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3. I drove by our old house last week. The buyers knocked down every interior wall but left the outside in tact. I knew it was coming. Our house was broken and nobody wanted to live in it the way it was. The property was too valuable for a structure that could no longer sustain. It still broke me -- seeing the backyard through the front door. The archways gone. The bedrooms non-existent. A hollowed-out shell of our former lives.
You cannot cross a bridge without recognizing there will be many things you leave behind.

I say this myself as I fix my eyes on a different path. I say this as I take my son shopping in the men's section. I say this as I put all of my eggs in one basket. As I refresh the Internet and then tell myself to walk away. The harder you push, the closer one gets to falling over but the alternative is what: standing still? I always pick the window seat in the airplane even though I don't know what I'm looking at when I look down. I only see clouds. Or squares in the distance. Specs of neighborhoods I could never guess by name.
4. She isn't real but she wants to be. She's on paper and she's in my head and I know her in myself but she isn't real. I can feel her on one side of me, like an imaginary friend pushing through the wall that keeps her invisible. I can feel her everywhere I go. Wynne. As in GO, FIGHT, WYNNE. Wynne as in the opposite of LOSE. We are so close to reaching our goal, I can FEEL it. But there's still a week to go and I am nervous. It took me months to garner the strength to ASK in such a BIG WAY like this. And even more time than that to believe we could DO THIS THING.

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...
6. Tomorrow I will have been a mother for twelve years. I celebrate my children's birthdays with more self-reflection than I do my own. I don't remember being born but I remember May 23rd, 2005 -- what it felt like to hold a tiny boy in my arms and search for the future in his eyes... and then my own.

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.

We are both all growing up.
7. You are all amazing. I'm sorry it's been so quiet here, especially after I wrote about my big plans to continue blogging through the month but, oof, I just... it's been impossible for me to keep up and sustain a Kickstarter campaign all at once.  

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.