Wednesday, September 17, 2008

COURAGE

Sometimes the absolutely worse thing
in the world is leaving the kids at school.
Driving away, hearing them say, "love you mom", "have a happy day",
carrying their lunch boxes, with a note of love and confidence.
I always hope people will be nice today.
Will they come home with delightful experiences,
or are they going to encounter something else?

G in Junior High, being indoctrinated by teachers with opinions.
Opinions different than mine.
Having conversations that have to do with our world;
Immigration, global warming, the next presidential election,
wanting to know what things mean
when I am still trying to figure those things out. What am I thinking?

Why not spend the entire day with my children running barefoot through the grass,
rolling down hills, swinging in tree swings,
knowing that you will reach the sky if you just pump a little harder.
I can play four square, kick-ball, jumprope.
I can teach them times tables, and how to write an essay.
I just miss them, and wish they missed me a little more.
But they are independant and going to grow up no matter what I do.

When they were little and learning to walk,
I would trip them up, "gently" push them back down, crawl a little longer;
I would beg.
Cuddle more with me, come into our room at night,
oh, how I miss having four of them all
trying to find a place to snuggle at night.
Making beds on the floor of my room.
I guess they needed that because I was pushing
them out into the world of school and sports.
I suppose that is why they needed more at night,
because they were learning and growing,
and they wanted to have all the time in the world with me too.
I miss that. It does go away, and I don't like it.
They loose their youth, they grow into these wonderful people
that are so like yourself, and yet so like their own person.
I have planted them as seeds, now I need the courage to let them grow.

I guess that is why I am trying to redefine me.
Who I am? What kind of a world do I see myself
offering these little people as they grow up.
I tell them, "stop growing up",
and J replies,
"Mom, you can grow up with us."
Thanks J, if I can be with them for now,
I guess I won't worry about tomorrow.
And maybe I can work out an appreciation
for the time that I have to define me,
while they are out there, exposed to our wonderful world;
well at least it is an interesting experience.

There is something to what they gain, that I can't give them.
It's just the courage it takes to let go of them;
remembering what was written by a third grade girl,
to go with her art piece. It has stayed with me ever since.
This is what our kids are doing while they are away growing up.
They are learning to be stars, sensitive, thoughtful, aware, respectful, students.
They are little seedlings, sprouting.
They are learning to have the courage to be their best person.

So, yes; my children: Have a happy day!

Courage:
Courage, it is the hardest thing you will ever muster up.
It can also be the most important quality you will ever need
in a very scary situation.
This small fragile sprout represents courage.
It takes a lot of courage for such a helpless sprout to become a plant.
It must brave the elements every day.
I wish I were as courageous as this helpless sprout.

ME TOO!

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on marriage

'Will you, um, marry me?' I haven't seen you in weeks! You don't look happy or excited about the prospect of our marriage! You're asking me to give up my - my freedom, my joie de vivre for an institution that fails as often as it succeeds? And why should I marry you anyway? I mean, why do you wanna marry me? Besides some bourgeois desire to fulfill an ideal that society embeds in us from an early age to promote a consumer capitalist agenda?