Monday, August 26, 2013

Growing up

I haven't been writing lately for a very good reason. There's too much to write about. Really. I'm so overwhelmed by changes and adventures and wonders and amazement that I'm not really sure where to even start.

I married an amazing man who has been one of my dearest friends for over a decade. Elvis was our officiant, and the whole ceremony was in haiku. We crashed a corner of Audubon Park early in the morning with Bloody Marys and a bottle of champagne, red Solo cups (because we're classy if nothing else), and a few friends and family members. I yanked my bouquet from beneath an old oak tree, and Jack found a flower in someone's yard. I lost the ring in the tall grass, and Elvis found it. It was an exciting day.

We've been working on this house that Jack has called the Shanty of Solitude for years but that is now anything but solitary with Jack and Fain and me and Scout and Squeaky and Dante all piled into one bed or another playing video games or watching Mr. Bean. But it's still a bit of a shanty, a little forlorn and in need of lots of TLC. We've been shifting possessions from one room to another trying to make room for one another and room to work. Room for cats to dodge dogs and vice versa. Room for bicycles and boxes of stuff that may or may not be junk depending on who you ask.

Jack's my own personal patron of the arts, encouraging me to join the Master Gardeners program, train with the docent program at NOMA, paint or embroider, plant things, take a part time job as an after school enrichment teacher at Akili Academy across town, so there's so much to keep me busy.

But there's something really special that I want to write about, even special amongst a whole world full of special new things, and that's dropping Fain off for his first day of school. Yes, he's in the fourth grade, and so dropping him off perhaps should be old hat, but I've never had to drop him off on his first day. His grandma took him to school during Kindergarten and first grade because I had to be at work early, and during second and third grade, we were at the same school, so I never really had to leave him.

It was painful. Agonizing. I felt like a horrible mother standing there at the tall, chain link fence watching him make his way to class all alone. And it wasn't all in my head. He's gotten used to having good, ol' mom around all the time, so he was wary of leaving me behind, and we both did our fair share of crying about it. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

But finally we started running late. It only takes a few days. So I didn't have time to walk with him from the parked car. I had to let him hop out and run to the gate alone. And something about that, watching him brave the sidewalk alone, walk that block by himself, filled my heart up with pride and excitement for him. It's good that he's becoming this independent person. It makes me look at him differently, as a really cool separate person as opposed to a really cool extension of myself.

I have an awesome kid, and I'm glad that I get to let him go a little even though I still get a weepy about it. He's like my own personal Mars Rover, exploring strange new worlds and reporting back to me over ice cream in the afternoon.