Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dear Lucy,

It’s okay to be nervous.  You wouldn’t have been sprung from this body without inheriting that gene.  Go ahead and worry, but please, not so much.  I always thought that the one thing I never wanted my children to get from me was the worrying…the constant worrying.  And look at what I produced: a five-year-old who carries the weight of this world on her tiny shoulders.  It’s enough to make a mother cry, but a mother who has taken you to kindergarten one day and then pulled you out that afternoon to start at another one?  Well, my dear…one day I know you will hardly remember this time, but it seems so very important right now.  I spend nights fretting about you.  You seem to understand so much.  You always have.  But mostly, I worry that you’ll one day do what I’m doing and have sleepless nights about things that, in the end, are really not that serious.  We’re pretty lucky, you and I.  We have a lot of nice things and we have great family on all sides who somehow love us unconditionally…but I know sometimes it’s hard to focus on that. 
I guess these are just the challenges that moms and dads face: not ever really knowing for certain what the right thing is for their children.  I have friends with kids headed to college who say this never really changes.  Maybe it’s because I’m hyper-sensitive about mom stuff.  Maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in you.  Maybe this is just how it is.  I’m not sure.  I do know this: you are smart and funny and sweet and loving and you have a sense about people that I didn’t have until I was well on my way to adulthood.  You will be fine in whatever situation is handed you…I just know it.  You are going to be amazing in school.  You have the curiosity of your daddy mixed with my need to KNOW everything.  You are artistic and you are crafty and you know how to get along in nearly every social situation.  You can do this – even if right now you don’t know French and it’s confusing and even I question if it’s the right thing (and yes, one day you’ll see this, but right now I can’t let on that I wonder these things!). 
Soon you will be (as a friend told me today) parlaying the Fran├žais with no problems.  Until then, I’m going to stay up with you at night when you call me in to tell me about your worries.  I know how it feels to need someone to do that.  I love you so much little Peaches.

Monday, August 23, 2010

coming up for air

I’m not dead.  I’ve just been trying to figure out how to juggle everything these days.  I just started back to teaching preschool, and it’s the first year since Lucy was born that I am working full time.  It’s a lot to figure out, this new schedule.  Then, we had a great surprise just hours after Lucy got home from her first day of kindergarten, when we were contacted by the French immersion charter school (read: free!) in our neighborhood and were told that they had an opening for Lucy.  We had been on the waiting list since April and had pretty much given up all hope that she would get in – and wouldn’t you know she did – right after getting home from an excellent first day elsewhere!  I was an emotional basket case last week, starting with her first day of kindergarten, and then immediately deciding to pull her to start her in a different school and having to explain all of this to her.  It wasn’t something that we decided overnight.  We mulled over it all summer long, ultimately thinking we would never really have to make the choice.  We picked a wonderful Catholic grade school in our neighborhood…one that I hated to leave, but in the end it came down to a financial decision.  So, in the midst of all of that, I started teaching full time and also decided to take a short trip to upstate New York to surprise my aunt for her 50th birthday party.  When I planned that trip, I had no idea of the week I would have had just before!  It was a great get away – perhaps at just the right time!
My point is that it’s been a crazy few weeks in the W house.  But we keep going as we always do.  I just haven’t had the time or the energy lately to keep up with writing.  I can tell a difference in myself when that is the case, and I know I am a better person for taking a few minutes out of every day to write, no matter where my writing takes me.  I have a few stories I want to share, including something that happened to me on the flight back to Kansas City yesterday afternoon.  I will do that when things calm down a bit.  In the meantime, I just wanted to say hello.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

look up.

Late tonight I sat out on my front stoop and looked up. For a loooong time. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower. I figured, hey! I’m up, and it’s nearly midnight, why not get a giant kink in my neck and try to see something cool? I’m so glad I did. I didn’t see a meteor shower. I didn’t have the patience to stick around long enough, I assume, to see whatever the night would bring. Instead, I got a stern reminder of my size. I can’t tell you the last time I sat and looked at the stars. I’m up late - a lot. But I'm not sure when was the last time I sat and looked up and really felt my place in this world. Even as I type this, my neck is a little stiff. What I saw was reminder of how tiny we are on this planet. All those concerns I have about myself, about my children, about my marriage…they seem relatively, well…insignificant, I guess, when you consider the width and breadth of the universe.
As I craned my neck to witness whatever was going to happen above my house, at 11:30-ish pm, with the front porch light off, I saw a shooting star. Not a meteor shower, but a single, fantastic shooting star. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one before. But I do know this: weird things happen to me. A lot. Weird things in my own mind, probably. Things the rest of you would merely scoff at, or make fun of. I know…it’s okay. My husband takes every opportunity to remind me that I might be crazy. Just a little bit. After my grandpa died, I started seeing cardinals. Red birds. Everywhere. Seriously, I am the cardinal whisperer. There is a giant one at my work that lives in the tree above the parking lot. One in my backyard who frequently flies onto my porch when I’m leaning over my kitchen counter looking out the window. I’m a firm believer in signs. Signs of what? I’m never quite sure.
Tonight? I saw a shooting star. It quite literally took my breath away. I sat with my right hand over my heart just breathing in and out for a while. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know that it means anything at all. But it was amazing, and it made me feel tiny. Tiny and safe. Because if there is someone looking out for me up there – or out there – that was pretty freaking cool. Thanks.