I wake up before my children. My guy has gone home to Western Mass. The house is quiet. While I was showering, my daughter got up, brushed her teeth, said good-bye while I dried off. Now she’s out running with her dad, third day in a row, something I never learned to do, run like the wind, other than as a kid.

In poetry class this week a classmate wrote about learning to skate and the contrast between the ease his kids found on the ice and the work it required for him to learn as an adult. Another classmate talked about marveling at the things her children have learned to do, and the adults they’ve become, often experiencing or becoming things she never did.

Meanwhile, Richard called from Northampton. While Isabel was out running with her dad, Richard was out collecting boxes for his mom’s belongings. On Tuesday, he’ll go with his brother to clean out her closets and drawers and files. Now she’s gone, and it’s spring, nearly summer, they plan to sell the house. Before someone else moves in, they’ll need to move what remains of her out.

Here I am in the middle of the two, my gal finding her way in the world, at fourteen, anticipating becoming an adult, my guy ushering his mom’s spirit out of the world. Some days I imagine going for a run with my daughter. Most days my to do list includes clearing out my house so my children won’t have to, also so we can live freer in the days we’re here. Time now to live in the moment, tea for three. My son returns from college Friday, reminding us of another cusp in life, preparing for his first full time job this summer at Lincoln Labs. Richard’s daughter graduates from Smith College this weekend, interviews on Monday a second time for an art teaching job she really wants. My middle son took his SAT two weekends ago, will look again at colleges this summer. My nephew graduates from high school in less than a month. Life moves on, whether we’re running or studying or clearing out. Tea is every day.

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