Photo: Major learned E Chord today for no other reason than his teacher thinking he’s cool. He was supposed to learn G7 chord this week, which is did, but that was after having fun and learning E. Sharing this picture because there is so much love in the child’s eyes, a reverence for this thing that he loves so much. Damn it’s expensive… but I am so glad we did this. Of course, the boy is asking for a blue one for Christmas…
I dropped off Major at school on Tuesday and stopped right at the sidewalk as his teacher waved for him. “He can walk the rest of the way! He knows where he’s going!” She called as she waved. Major went bounding forward, stopped short, then came running back to give me a hug. Just like a commercial! I gave him a hug and a kiss, told him he was going to have a great day, (“I know. It’s going to be so great.”) and then watched him traverse the space between me and his teacher.
My Quiet Thoughts were born by watching him walk away. His head was held high, but his steps moving forward were uneven. His backpack is bigger than he is, he’s so small compared to the older children who were making their way to the building, yet he’s so big compared to his classmates… so much bigger than his brother. Unlike his preschool, which was small and cozy (he’d walk up to the building and it didn’t seem to loom so large), standing there, watching him move forward, that’s all I could see: how so very big the building is, how so very small my son is in comparison. He’ll grow into the space. We all will. We’ll grow into this new life. Yet still, standing on that sidewalk, watching my son walk away from me, there was raw understanding of just how far we’ve come, and yet how very far we have to go. I had to remind myself that this is the first month of the first year at the first school. Stay focused.
There was affirmation in that moment, however: I saw that my son was comfortable and confident in his movement. There wasn’t dread or trepidation in his steps. He moved forward with the energy of a child who felt safe and loved, who felt secure in himself and his surroundings.
In a big wide world, expanding by the day, my son walks forward, with a keen eye, a confident spirit, and an open heart.
There is faith in that. There is hope in that.
This is the beauty of childhood, for sure. And a childhood of privilege, no less. I understand that this will be lost and relearned multiple times as we progress through the grades, moving upward and outward toward other challenges. Yet, when you get the chance to see it what full faith and self-confidence look like when on display, you can’t help but stop and marvel. You try to dig deep to find it in yourself again, remembering what it was like to know that you are going to be ok, without a doubt, because the world is good and you are free to be yourself and make mistakes.
While I’m not convinced that it’s possible to fully return to that space as an adult, I think that it is possible to capture it and rekindle it in temporary bursts. That we can, in order to propel ourselves to the next great step in our lives, return to a place of faith and full trust in ourself and all that we know to be true about ourself. In knowing that, if nothing else, we are capable of walking forward in a big wide world, and that we’ll make it to the other side of whatever challenge presents itself.
Or maybe I’m an optimistic fool. Maybe this is the best I can do in a mean world.
This week felt damn close to normal. Maybe this is normal now. There is still a lot to smooth out, so much still unsettled. Yet, I sucked less this week. I did everything I had to do, even most of the things I wanted to do. I still feel behind. I still feel like I should have accomplished more.
I attended that PTA meeting on Tuesday and decided it’s not for me. Fundraising sucks, even if it’s important. I will say, though, that the principal of the school specifically greeted me during the meeting, expressing his happiness for my being there (I was one of two women of color at the table). And people there were friendly and certainly care a lot about the school. But the meeting ran way too long and, more importantly, it was boring beyond measure. I just… don’t care… about pizza nights and wrapping paper. At all. But, I did learn a lot about the workings of the school and its philosophy. I love being in the know… you know? But, is it worth being bored out of my skull once a month?
Lordy. I messed up the Quiet Thoughts with petty laziness, didn’t I? Well, Dear Reader, I never said I was perfect. 😉
There is rain falling outside of the farmhouse windows for the second time this week. A welcome wonder in drought-stricken MetroWest Massachusetts. The smell of it is intoxicating, the sound of it is mesmerizing. I look forward to drifting off to sleep while listening to it, and enjoying the green that will result from it. We all could use a little nourishment, Dear Reader. We all could use a bit of refreshment, a bit of help raining down from high places. A little peace, a little mercy, a little joyful love. These are among the things I wish for you this Friday, Dear Reader. I wish you warmth from the sun’s rays and from the smile of someone dear. I wish you a tight squeeze from a sweet embrace, the snug feel of your favorite jacket, the electric awesomeness you can only feel when you put on your favorite Fall boots. I wish you brunch, a little sweet, a little savory, served with a side of laughter and storytelling. I wish you stillness and comfort, an easing of pain, an easing of a mind darting and racing. I wish you calming hands on your shoulders, on your neck, on your cheeks, in your hair. May they heal a bit, comfort a lot.
In a world that feels dark and anxious, I wish you a protective spirit to surround you, but I also wish for the culture to change. Where all beings, of all shades and colors (and shapes and sizes, etc etc) are protected, respected, and welcomed. If it’s true that thoughts are born of intention, and actions are born from our thoughts, then may our intention be to cultivate this. (Special thanks to a wonderful reader who sent me this powerful wish.)
Until Monday, stand strong, be kind, love fearlessly, laugh loudly, and take care.