As promised, if belatedly, more photos from that idyllic evening on Penobscot Bay…So I’m waiting tables this summer, a new experience for me. And because I like to keep people happy, it’s immensely stressful work because there are so many factors outside of my control. People have been fabulous and patient (new restaurant), and generally lovely. I’m a service person, through and through; it’s something that is a deep part of who I am. I have the house to myself for a few weeks and am enjoying a quiet life and very rare trips to the grocery store. I’m also building a quilt. Sylvan’s Turning 13 Quilt! It’s been two years since I have sewn anything!!! It’s amazing to be back. And I am exploring a new-to-me sewing machine, a true machine, an old Singer from the 1950s which glides smoothly along and is an absolute pleasure to work with. The part that makes me crazy is the placing each square part: it is always impossible (can’t have two same fabrics touching, need an overall balance, etc) and I spent about five hours getting it right (enough). It’s so nice imagining my cozy boy snuggled up inside it…that’s what carries me through the agony of placement.
But here it comes with a new sense of reality: we have the date when Jonas will be heading off to school. I was typing it into our digital family calendar: “Take Jonas to School.” And then a tiny and very very mean voice in my head added: …AND LEAVE HIM THERE. (Then I cried.) This happens to all mothers! This isn’t a unique event, in fact it’s absolutely mundane. Every day, forever, mothers have been sending off their children into the big world, and let’s take a moment give thanks for our extreme good fortune that I am sending him off to boarding school and not to fight in a war or to make a new life in a new country. This is how it was always going to be, it’s a part of the job that I signed up for, and this is one way I know I have done it well. —–
The Last Ride
Sometimes you don’t know when it’s the last time
so the occasion slips by unnoticed.
The last time you fell asleep in my arms,
cried in front of me,
needed a reminder to take a shower.
It was our last ride to school this morning.
Our playlist was two songs framed around
a biology concept litany,
timed to the length of our commute.
First, “Lilac Wine” by — surprise, I never would have guessed!– Miley Cyrus.
Then cell respiration,
words and vocabulary,
of which I recognized,
like hearing another language.
Your voice, reciting,
next to me in the passenger seat,
just listening to the sounds of your words.
Sharing the space with you,
Once, you were the listener:
drinking in all those words and stories spoken
by me to you,
and you were the one making sense of a new language.
The final song of our last ride,
“More” by Usher,
is one of your classic pump-up songs.
(More is what you always wanted: more of the world, more time awake, more of everything, stories, time, dessert, information, from your babyhood right to this moment.)
“More” delivered us right to our usual parking space
under the windmill.
Your timing was impeccable.