Monday, April 28, 2008
Miles, my oldest, just turned 10 years old which means that I've been a mother for 10 years now. It seems like a pretty big deal to me, and it brought up a lot of emotions in me that I found really surprising, but, really, I shouldn't have been so surprised. I always feel anxious when older women tell me to enjoy these kids while they're young because it goes by so fast. It's like telling someone who is hanging off a cliff, hanging on for dear life, to "hang on!" Of course I will, and telling me reminds me of the desperateness of it all.
As most of you know, I just had a baby, which, not surprisingly, has also brought up a lot of emotions for me. Basically, I'm an emotional person (wreck). A real BLUE (The Color Code Personality Test? Anyone?), which makes teacher and motherhood perfect careers for me, but also ones that torture me because they are wrought with emotional charge and change.
So now, a decade later, I have a child in various ages of development: a newborn baby, a demanding toddler, a bright-eyed 5 year-old, an accountable up 8 year-old, and now a 10 year-old. On Miles' birthday, all day, each child reminded me of Miles at each developmental stage. I could see his fat round face as a newborn and all the questions I had as a new mom about what he would be like and what kind of mother I would really turn out to be. I saw him as a temperamental toddler asserting his new-found independence and I remembered the day he discovered the wind at 18 months and how he put out his hands to touch it and how it literally took his breath away. I remember how he would sit in his room, quiet, before he could read, and look at books for hours, and how he could name the planets, in order, and dreamed of sitting in a control room, blasting off his more adventurous brother into space, explaining that he would be too scared to fly into space, but Owen wouldn't! I remember his first day of kindergarten and how small he looked next to the other kids, and how I ran out of the school so that no one would see me cry, and then I called my mom and we both cried some more. I can see the soccer games, where he was more interested in waving to us than in kicking the ball, and the birthday parties, and most importantly, the quiet days. I remember everything, that's the blessing and the curse, isn't it?
The day before Miles' birthday, he had a late-night cast party for the school play, Much Ado About Nothing, at the school across the street. The kids were all in bed and Miles insisted he could walk home by himself, AT NINE THIRTY! I was so nervous and walked out to the corner to meet him. He didn't see me watching him, dressed in a Maroon 5 t-shirt, walking without a care in the world, humming something to himself, and in the moonlight I thought, "This is my little boy. What will the next 10 years bring him?" As I started to think of the dating, and driving and graduating from high school . . . it was too much for me to take in. I just wanted him to be ten forever. Or at least crack a corny joke and describe to me (in painful detail) all of the parts he liked in the movie version of Much Ado, which he did, then adding that he started global warming by farting in the ocean.
(Margaret on her blessing day)