I woke early this morning , as I often do , but not to rehash my as of yet unwritten list of todos, but to muse on motherhood. I looked for the precipitating factors, as I am also wont to do. Though I need no excuse to ponder the art and practice of mothering .
I found my provocation: Last night, realizing my dear and organized roommate Gerry would be traveling for three days. I made a huge mess: pulling out my nest of paper wherein lie buried gold and detritus. Did I mention my husband HATES visual clutter.
Panning for gold, I found a classic Among Friends to do list from years past. It was written by me and annotated by Suzie, from our days on Orchard Hills Court, my home and our world headquarters where work days were a tumble of mothering, and making mixes in a narrow closet off my garage. Our note read:
“Make case of each cookie
send Toledo writer another note,
draft takeaways for demos
get clothes from Lizann (tight ass jeans).
Suzie, miss visual, added “Order flax” and “Kick Evan’s butt,” moving the latter assignment up to number one with an arrow.
Evan from heaven. Make Suzie and me mad? Not very often. Of our combined six, he may catch it the least as he is generally delightful except when over-tiredness produces lawyerly like argumentativeness. But apparently Evan had had a bee in his bonnet that undated day and Suzie was determine to squash it.
(I should probably explain the jeans reference, but suffice it to say one of us fights gravity more than the other. I would never buy tight ass jeans , they just become—and then they become Suzie’s.)
Ok mothering, stay on task.
The gold I found in my piles included a copy of a card I wrote Evan his first week of college this past fall. Oh why do they have to grow up? It seems fitting to include parts of it here because Evan is taking his last class of `13 as I pen these words. He will come home next week and we will learn to live together anew. If I had a dollar for every parent who has told me,: ”That first summer is hard. set the rules before your child even comes in the door,” I would be adding considerably to the college fund.
I am going to try to hold some of the advice dispensed at your Notre Dame orientation, and pen a few notes of gratitude to the people who have altered my life with their goodness. Of course, you rank near the very tip-top. I spent much of my twenties soul searching, alone, and then at 34, you entered my life and to be honest I have not been lonely since. You are rarely alone once you become a mother—all of a sudden you have a being who is magnetically attracted to you. I even forgot how to close the bathroom door—you used to crawl around the corner and say “peet a boo.” You really could talk well before you could walk. You never practiced walking. Once you were sure of your ability to walk, you walked, your keen intelligence apparent from the very start . So as I took on the messages of the weekend, I felt many were aimed at people like you—take a risk and all that. My commitment to you is to try to do some of that same growing myself that you will be doing. As I am sure of support, just as you are. Love you, Evan xo
Ok, so now I know why I kept the copy of this card, not just because I am off the richter scale sentimental but BECAUSE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE GROWING .
Today’s leap of faith is this blog. Hopefully the pen and parachute open.
My intention is humble; it is to simply share “my practice ,” with you. I take this mantra from my beloved yoga teacher, who would tell our class.: “I’m just sharing my personal practice with you,“ That is an apt and wonderful description of parenting, as our children will learn what we live, no matter what we tell them.
SO, Evan, we need to have a conversation about this summer, preferably before you walk in the door.