i woke groggy this morning, sleepy vapors of a dream still fogging my brain.
i dreamed of new-old apartments with sliding doors, of seashell soap and people who whispered like yelling and benches that wouldn’t stay untoppled-over.
but mostly, i dreamed of b, my oldest boy. of discovering he had a girlfriend (i run into her mother around the corner of my dream, and she spills the news), and this girl is a little bit taller than my son, with clouds of dark hair and a guileless smile, and i like her on the spot but still cannot get used to the idea of my child. dating.
the good thing, and also the bad thing, with the hubby being a youth pastor is we have a fairly unobstructed view into the mind of your average teenager. by all accounts, it is a fascinating and surprising place, and also scary beyond all reason.
can i just say: i am largely unprepared for the arrival of hormones.
but here they come, flooding our tranquil home, leaving us knee-deep in crazy, and i know without a doubt that now is the time to pay attention and talk with him more, and also listen and listen and listen. and to not stand back or disengage when our children hit that point where they don’t seem to particularly need or like their old mum anymore.
[because in every almost-teenage boy there is a son who desperately needs his parents to treasure him.]
six years ago yesterday, i was exhausted and cold and the doctor was saying you have a girl and i was thinking: who is she talking to? because i didn't have girls, i had boys, a long string of beautiful silly boys.
but there you were, pink and squalling that newborn mewl, fists and feet treading air beneath a warming lamp.
and so i learned a new language, she and her and daughter. i learned dresses and pigtails and ruffled tights, but i confess that some days it's still such a mystery to me.
six seems too small a word to explain you, to contain your exuberance and pluck. six doesn't hold that belly giggle, or your penchant for digging up earthworms and christening each one with a male name.
you are noisy and joyful and bubbling with songs and twirlish dancing. you are the slow-pokiest kid with socks and brushing teeth. you clamor for a good book. you adore everyone you meet.
you are bossy and magnetic and compassionate and every bit a child after my heart. you are my girl.
21. little girls who wake with sleepy smiles and rarely make their beds.
22. broken-in boots.
23. girlfriends who keep you company with sweets and 80's flicks (kickboxing. sport of the future.) when the hubby's out of town.
24. knocking pebbles from my sneakers following an afternoon of digging for worms and climbing forts and trapezing with the littles out back.
25. melina marchetta. ('jellicoe road' kept me on the treadmill four miles longer than usual. melina honey, you sure can spin a tale.)
26. snowy mums, however brief they last.
(mom owens, i purchased these guys in the hopes that i could keep them alive and bonny till your birthday. however. it is now becoming clear that i may have been suffering from an acute case of delusional optimism that day, so do not be surprised if you end up with an entirely non-kingdom-plantae, different gift.)
(but just in case, close your eyes.)
* * *
(indeed, i do know it's friday, but i'm trying out this new thing called being early. so far it's weird but oddly refreshing.)