My Mariana Trench of a daughter has grown some 3 to 4 inches this year. She is literally turning into another person before my very eyes. She has begun wearing the veil of pre-teen mystery. Puberty has come to roost in our home and I am working really hard at learning the language, customs and ways. Even so, I still stare in awe whenever I know it's not looking.
My Big Bang of a son continues to reveal both of our selves to me. I shake my head in disbelief at how much of him there is to know. He may not have shot up like bamboo but he has exploded a little and revealed more dimensions of himself. In some moments I glimpse a ghost of who I might have been. Who I still am -a little bit.
Obviously I have always been conscious of my children as people, individuals. Yet their individual person-ness keeps catching me; like fireworks.
Boom! Poof! Pop! Colors! Shapes!
Wow. Wow. Wowwww.
Yes, but you've seen these already; you know these fireworks.
I know I know. But STILL. WOW. Look at that. LOOK.
She calls herself Unifox. She is so much that: a creature I have never seen before and want to get close to without scaring her off. She has a whole internal life that is such a mystery to me. Not unlike her dear old dad. Still waters and all that. She is writing a book. In Minecraft. She is taken with all things Japanese (animé, manga, sushi, origami), and foxes. She emails me to tell me crucial, life changing information.
He has long called himself ScienceGuy. In this way, he is my unpredictable experiment. What if I add a little ---? BOOM! Okay, no. How about if I...?- Fizzle. No. Okay. What about this? How about that? Too much this? Not enough that? Tweak. Adjust. Fiddle. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Night and Day. Sun and Moon. In and Out. Up and Down. They are the most opposite of opposites. They are the oppositest people I know. Well. Next to me and "MilkStirred" (haha, that's a good one. It's totally spot on. I'm shaken, he's stirred. I love it). She is daddy, he is me.
They are sitting together at the table, the serving bowl with the last serving of eggs left; hers. She begins to scoop the eggs one spoon at a time into her plate. Her brother looks at her, slightly baffled, and asks "Why don't you just DUMP them out? It's all yours anyway."
Witnessing this I have a third person dejavu experience. That exact scenario has played out for me and "Stirred" countless times before. It comes down to me saying "Big picture?!" and him saying "Details." It's the same for Brother and Sister.
Dear sweet Unifox can and does focus on doing one thing for an extended period. She will fold origami, sculpt tiny animals, draw pictures, prepare a recipe. She takes her time. She does that thing until it is finished.
Popping ScienceGuy does things in bursts (unless it's playing video games): Five minutes of sword play, five minutes of aimless tumbling and rolling around the living space, 10 minutes of watching and harassing sister with whatever she's doing, seven and a half minutes of reading. Even eating. Eating! For the meals he eats solo (lunch usually) he takes a bite or two then gets up do do nothing specific, goes back and bites barely sitting on the seat and then he's up again. For water, for a bathroom break, to wonder over to another area and fiddle with something.
I so appreciate having been around for these moments. To have greater understanding of the people I am guiding and teaching. People tell me they cannot imagine homeschooling their kids. And I get that everyone has different things they are able to do with joy. But I cannot imagine sending my kids back to school. I would miss SO MUCH.
I would miss my boy reading upside down; his head on the floor the book propped upside down on the coffee table leg.
I would miss my girl making truffles for her friends; and making the pretty little origami boxes to gift them in.
I would miss them giving each other tips on minecraft mods and installing different features.
I would miss reading about Odysseus' wild adventures to them.
I would miss news segments, presented eagerly by my boy, about the amazing things he learned about that people are doing and creating in the scientific community.
I would miss spontaneous fire circles in the backyard.
I would miss the really detailed drawings my girl takes so much time to do.
I would even miss being there to push my son through the hard things. Watching him and helping him to overcome a crippling fear of "it's too hard" (defeated tears and all) and come out the other side shining with the victory of having done it.
I would miss "mommy math"; breaking out the cubes, using the floor tiles, drawing the pies and cakes to turn data in to real life and real life into data.
I would totally miss liquid nitrogen fun at our friend's home.
I would miss them reading so many books and loving it.
I would miss my girl teaching herself to sew a dress from my old blouses.
I would miss going out on the boat to the mangrove cays and exploring them with our friends.
But I didn't. I didn't miss it. I was here. We were here. And I am beyond thankful.
I experience the gamut of emotions of being a parent; from soaring pride to desperate lostness to unending love to losing my shit. Sometimes within a few moments of each other. There are many, many, many (manymanymanymanymanyMANY) hours spent mulling and replaying and questioning what we do. How can I do this better? How can I help him do this? How can I give her that?
Even the odd "OMYGAD! I CANNOT! DO! THIS! Yes I can.... but it's harrrrrrrrrrdddddd!!!!" moment.
I fall short in so many things. Some of them I know, some of them I don't.
The point is. What's the point?
The point is.
The point is Yes. Thanks. Awesome. I'll do it again. And I'll do it a little bit better. And a little bit worse.
|We've got so much to see and do. There is only there is only the horizon in front of us.|
And I'll see you back here, on this little rock that is hurtling through time and space, sometime over the course of its orbit around a star.
And above all, be kind. To yourself and others.