If you look closely at the two pictures, you can see our sweet boy. In the first, there is a foot – barely – under the chair on the right. In the second, a flash of blonde and his airplane-blue pajamas, over near the window. Our walls are still covered in forgotten train schedules, Lego people rest abandoned on bookshelves, and he remains “a blur of color!”, as he shouted triumphantly all summer long, on each race through the house. But now he is racing through mornings at kindergarten, because as Catherine Newman beautifully put it, they leave us in increments. Continue reading
There are many brands of maternal guilt that can swamp us. The version I’m currently swimming through involves failing to notice, despite three days worth of complaints about “itchy” hands, that my son was having a life-threatening allergic reaction to an antibiotic. I did notice, eventually – right around the moment he woke up covered in head-to-toe, blistering welts, his eyes swollen to bloodshot slits. Continue reading
Today was my co-op day for Jacob’s class. I was working outside, at the round brown table under the big juniper tree, helping the kids make flowers out of enormous coffee filters and green pipe cleaners. They painted them with liquid water colors – vibrant springtime greens and pinks and oranges, yellows and purples, bright turquoise. Jacob and a handful of other kids concentrated on their blooms as his teacher and I watched. “I love the colors,” I said.
“I picked them for spring,” she said. Continue reading
Lucas’s friend Kazumi has reintroduced him to edamame. Having been reminded, he now loves it almost as much as he loves her; his hand moves so fast from table to mouth to bowl that I feel dizzy trying to photograph him. He is fully focused, intent on eating every last bean pod on the table in front of him, apparently with the world record for speed eating soy in his sights. He pauses only twice, once to wave me away when my camera comes to close (“Stop it Mommy!”) and once to reaffirm that these edamame are his, and his alone. (“I eat ALL the beans, Mommy. I eat them ALL. You don’t eat any my beans!”) Continue reading
Stepping single file through the early morning mountain air, holding the little ones’ hands, pulling ourselves over rocks, lifting them over roots. Sheer granite, ancient trees, and fifty feet below us the river coursing. Still we found ourselves wondering out loud if this hike had been the best idea, what with the toddlers and the steep cliffs and the sun barely risen. Continue reading
I tell myself that I will remember them, running along the sidewalk to the pool, all sun-bleached hair and palpable joy. I will remember their sand-covered toes, the warm sweaty weight of their heads on my shoulder, the exact way that Lucas says “I not too little,” and how Jacob sounds out “square” as “scary.” I tell myself that I will remember, I will remember just how this summer is. I take pictures, to be my trail markers.
Of course, I know enough by now to tell you that memory doesn’t work that way. Continue reading