Thursday, October 28, 2010


I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but didn't get to post this until just this morning,
and re-reading it, I re-lived it,
and it turned out just as I hoped it would:

We picked up his tux last night and he tried it on, and he is so dashing,
so very dashing.
He looks so good in black.

At 4:30 he will stand with the court and have pictures taken,
at 5:30 he will ride in a convertible down Grand River to the school.

We will tailgate and buy cheesy potatoes and carmel apples from the cheerleaders and the FFA down by the football field,
and they will judge the floats,
and our lousy football team will beat whatever lousy team they've matched us up with on this day, because you always win at Homecoming.
And the stands will be packed with old people and kids who graduated last year,
and we will shiver and drink out of our thermoses and sing, "Hail to Webberville!" and stand up when the band plays it, clapping to the beat and yelling, "Hey!" at the end,
all in unison with our fists to the sky.

And afterwards, the cars will circle the track and the court will be introduced,
ending with the four senior couples, and they will slowly and tediously read the bios for each one over the loudspeaker, as the boys escort the shivering girls to their places.

And the whole time I will not quite be able to take it all in,
I will be kept from seeing the big picture,
because for me, all I will see is him.
All night long, I will know where he is, over by concessions, down by the gate,
up at the top of the stands, I will just know it by my sixth sense.
And I will look at the other mothers, so relaxed, as if this happens every day, and I will think to myself, "Can't you see that my son is the best of them all? Can't you see how handsome he is, how beautiful, how he outshines every other one?"

I can remember like it was yesterday, holding him in the back of the church,
with his head on my shoulder,
glad that he fussed so I could stand back there,
so I could have an excuse to focus just on him,
feeling my place as his mother so keenly,
and enjoying it so completely.

I can remember the rush of feeling in my chest when I kissed his little lips,
like falling in love,
and how he was so utterly and completely mine when he could fit in my arms.

And now I am bawling here all by myself.

But I want to feel it,
I want to think about it,
because this feeling of seeing him bloom,
beginning to let him go,
is just as powerful a joy, although painful,
as when I was his possessor.

Does that make sense?

My heart is just so full I can't stand it.

It was his first dance, Homecoming Dance of his senior year, and it was Middle Child's first dance too, as a freshman, and she fit right in to the house full of senior kids getting ready around her.

So many endings and beginnings.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday morning

I am up early drinking the first cup of coffee
and delaying getting ready for church.

I just set my library copy of The Glass Castle on
the end table I searched for and bought at a garage sale.
It is scuffed but made from good wood and just the right shape.
It has a drawer that sort falls open because the
sliding mechanism is broken but I don't mind,
I just keep it closed.
Now I have a place next to my chair for a lamp
and to pile my books.

It is dark and the house is quiet,
and I just finished the book.
I was up late reading it, but I didn't want to finish.
Whenever I finish a very good book at night,
I can't get to sleep afterward.

So I left the very ending for this morning
and woke up early to read it.
Now it will speak to me for some days
unless I jump right into another good book,
which I am likely to do.
But if I can, I like to let it settle.

And this morning I am living dangerously,
because last week I left myself only
fifteen minutes to get ready,
and I made it.

Now, no matter how many warnings
I give myself,
somewhere deep inside I will know that I can make it
in fifteen minutes.

This is dangerous knowledge for my

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cheers II

Hundreds of shrieking girls fill the hot, overcrowded gymnasium
where parents and aunts and uncles and siblings have spent the last
four hours of their lives,
subsisting on lukewarm pizza wrapped in tinfoil,
coffee, popcorn
and overpriced soda, can by can.

They are waiting for the judges to announce whether they will receive
a gold, a silver or a bronze for their months of hard work.
They've donned blindingly white tennis shoes
and pulled their hair back so tightly into ponytails
that their eyes water.
It's a good thing that they don't allow a stitch of eye makeup.

All of those coordinated hair ribbons are bouncing to the beat
of the Electric Slide and even though I have my head in my hands,
elbows on knees, ears plugged and eyes closed,
I can still appreciate their simple joy.

Of a job well done,
of hard work about to be rewarded,
of beautiful youth and the boundless energy that comes with it.

So I smile and watch her ponytail bounce,
her scrubbed face flushed with pride and silliness and happiness
for this, her moment.

I am glad she is so healthy and strong.

And so I cheer,
something I never pictured myself doing,
cheering for my cheerleader,
I yell,

"Blue! Gold! White!
Blue! Gold! White!"

and all of us,
the Husband,
the Teenager,
the Middle Child
and Twin Boy
and me


Sunday, October 03, 2010


Today we were in a new church,
and at the end of the service
they served communion,

and I was closing my eyes in prayer
before drinking of the blood of Christ,
when I peeked at the twins

just in time to see them cheerfully clink their cups together
in a silent toast
to an understanding Jesus.