Thursday, September 4, 2014

here and now


Cal lets me walk him all the way into his classroom on the first day of school. Yesterday, as his teacher introduced herself to him, he extended his hand for her to shake. It was such an adult thing for him to do, unprompted; it made my throat constrict and my chest tighten. Changes, little and big, are constant, but you don’t usually know you’re experiencing the last time of something until it’s already over. One day they don't need your prompting to make a proper introduction; another, you realize you aren’t holding hands anymore when you cross the street. You won’t know in advance the last time your sons will sit on your lap; you’ll just find yourself grieving the loss one day. (I hope that never happens to me.) I suppose if we could remember every last time, we’d be paralyzed by heartache.

In my time alone the past couple of days – the first in months – I’ve had my hands in butter and flour, listening to Jose Gonzalez radio with nobody to ask me to turn it off or put something else on; I’ve worked in the yard, and then, afterward, inhaled the scent of tomato plants clinging to me as I fixed and then ate my lunch, reading my book. I’ve clipped and arranged hydrangeas without help or input.

Cal is wickedly hungry and tired when I pick him up from school; that hasn’t changed. I’ve insisted he eat the remaining contents of his lunchbox before having more than one of the oatcakes I've brought for after-school snacks. He doesn’t want the apple slices or the cheese that were meant to go with the oatcakes, or the leftovers in his lunchbox: he just wants MORE OATCAKES.

I can’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be than here and now.



6 comments:

house on hill road said...

oh, lecia! i think about the "lasts" so often and how they happen in a blink of an eye and we only recognize them later. then i think of all the firsts still to come, even at 14 and 12, and that rights me a bit. xo.

Lecia Phinney said...

Erin: yes! Cheers to all of our future firsts. XO

Di said...

Lecia, My nieces in the Northern Hemisphere are putting their eldest 'babies' into school for the first time.
I'm reminded of the same events and the firsts with my daughter and later my son. Now I try to imprint the moments with my granddaughters to see me through my time as a Nana.
It never ends, the desire to see your children by your side. To hold them close and keep them safe. Fortunately, I raised them to be independent adults! As you are doing. The experiences are different but just as lovely as they get older. x Di.

Lecia Phinney said...

Thank you, Di. xo

Sammi Egan said...

I don't have any children of my own but I totally relate to this regarding my favourite children- they're my ex bosses' kids & I adore them. On visiting them this weekend I noticed how they'd grown up. Particularly their middle son, Liam. He's funny, he has a strong character. He can pour wine like no other (he's 7)! He is the strongest kid ever, his personality just shines thru

Lecia Phinney said...

Sammi, you are lovely. xx