I packed the last school lunch for Abbott I’ll ever pack, cutting his sandwich in half vertically, as I’ve always done; slicing strawberries and dividing a carrot into sticks. I don’t know anyone who really enjoys the task, but I think it will feel like a loss, next fall, when I’m only making one for Cal. I guess I’ll miss him carrying something from me with him into his day. At the middle school Abbott will be attending, lunch is part of the tuition. Legend has it the food is so good, alumni check the menu on the website, just so they can daydream about it. From a recent menu: “Monday - Vegetarian Egg Rolls. Stir Fry Spring Vegetables and Tofu. Brown Rice. Egg Drop Soup. Tuesday - Loki Coho w/ Roasted Garlic Aioli. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. Spring Greens w/ Craisins and Gorgonzola Crumbles. Wednesday - Turkey Cannelloni. Pasta w/ Pesto. White Beans and Lemon Gremolata. Fresh Vegetable.” And: “Along with each day's feature, the Dining Room will offer: Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, Salad Bar, PB&J, and Vegan Friendly Soup.” I suppose next year we’ll have fun checking the menu at the breakfast table.
I hugged him, hard, as he headed in to his last day as an elementary school student. He wrapped his arms around me and held on tight, then grinned and said, “Oh, Mom!”
At an all-school meeting honoring the fifth graders, many of them were puffy-eyed, tears running down their cheeks. A friend told me she saw her son look at his watch as they sang a song they wrote together. She said he’s ready to move on, and I see it in Abbott, too.
The pews at our church are stocked with index cards and pencils, as pews invariably are in churches everywhere. Cal uses them as art supplies, and recently, we started playing a game. He draws something, and then passes it to me. I add a new element to the picture, and we continue passing it back and forth. I make the same birds, shaped like an “M”, that I’ve always made my whole life; my puffy clouds and treetops are identical, just like they’ve always been. I haven’t drawn anything in decades, and I find it surprisingly stretching and fun. Occasionally I hear a stifled giggle after he takes in what I’ve added. Cal and Alexi were away last weekend, so Abbott picked up a card and drew something, then passed it to me. Long-forgotten memories returned; those pre-dawn hours he used to sit at the table, focused, creating, in the years before he could read.As we took pictures yesterday after his graduation, I tried hard not to sink into the squishy, moist grass, or fall over in my heels. Abbott watched me for a minute, then leaned into me, and tugged at me, causing me to lurch even more precariously. As we wrestled we laughed until I got a stitch in my side.
I look forward to everything that is to come.