Time Marches On…


Wow! I can hardly believe how fast the time is going. In another two months or so the school year will draw to a close. This summer, the last one before college, will be different than all the rest, as it will truly mark a change in all our lives. I have spent some time reflecting on this upcoming event over the past few months. Interestingly enough, this whole time has been underlined by Daniel’s first real injury, a broken leg, which forced him into a renewed relationship as the drivee, as I resumed my primary role as the driver. It has stimulated thought and conversations with a renewed vigor, underlining for me the wonderful gift that being a parent is ( okay, its a lot of responsibility, too, but worth it all twice over).

Funny, I felt so free when he started to drive. It really took a lot of the drudgery out of my life- and I thought I’d never miss chauffering kids around. Boy, was I mistaken. Seems to me the days have never been quite so sweet. The morning his leg was set, I took him out to breakfast. Haven’t done that here in Alameda, just the two of us, since he was little. It was so nice. Had a good conversation, some joking, some serious – just nice. The day before I had been in the car with Sara, taking her to or from her Sunday job, and she asked me if I knew what her favorite place in the whole world was. Naturally, I didn’t have a clue. She said it was in the car alone with me. Wow! blew me over again. She said she loved being the center of attention and focus, and that she always felt that way when we drove somewhere together. It made me stop and think. Once again. She really is something special, so much insight, so much wisdom – in a package full of silly.

Somehow it has highlighted this short time when I am again the primary chauffeur. Daniels cast is off – the doctor said to give it two weeks before he drives again and I am working on stretching it. He is itching to be back again as master of his own destiny. Maybe a couple more days…We had this conversation the other day, concerning college. He told me how just a few short months ago the whole thing had loomed in front of him scary and threatening, but that now he was ready to go. Tonite. Tomorrow. OUT OF HERE. Ready to move into his own life. That means that the big goal – a competent and independent individual – is a reality -we’ve done a good job. The part that has got me by the throat is the enormity of how wrenching a fact that is to me. I told him that he didn’t need to wish it away (uh oh, I sound like my mother again), soon enough the time would come. And that nothing would ever be the same again. It would be good, bad or whatever – but it would really begin to be his life – a life that didn’t necessarily include us in all the details. I am getting myself ready. Sometimes late at night I get teary thinking how much I will miss him, reviewing in my minds eye all of the little boys that he was, the darling two year old – full of wonder, the magician at six, the joker at ten, at thirteen a serious and dedicated individual – each one of them a part of the man (I can hardly believe it) he has become.

I told him that maybe this time was special and that he should savor it. He should try to breathe in whatever it is that he has here, because maybe it will give him some strength in this next segment that is so quickly approaching. I think maybe he understood. I offered to teach him whatever I can to help him with that transition. We have agreed to a laundromat date or two, and he promised to take some dancing classes (supposedly for his sister). He will get the short course in dishwasher loading and operation. I try to figure out what information will prepare him best for the road ahead. Its not an easy job, this parenting thing. I finally understand that the letting go really isn’t as easy as I once imagined it.

I reflect on my own feelings when I left home, my eagerness to be free, the mantras of poetry and song I carried with me in my heart, and I try to put everything right, so I will be ready when the time comes.

But oh, it goes so fast.

(Thank goodness for email)