It’s the end of the school year. There are four more days of school left and then it’s twelve weeks of summer vacation for Lucas. Normally at this time of year I’d be panicking, wondering what the hell we are going to do during twelve weeks “off.”
OK, the truth is, part of my brain IS doing exactly that because I am both full-time mommy and full-time professional editor. Try as I might, I have yet to figure out how to be fully effective at doing two vastly different jobs at once.
Twelve weeks. Somehow the camp options are fewer this summer, and I just know that there are going to be yawning weeks of hot, drawn-out days. You’ve heard me sing this song before. That’s not why I’m writing now.
Just now. This is why I’m writing. This exact moment I’m so awestruck by my child. My 9-year-old has me feeling just boggled, and not for any one thing, but for all of him.
Today he brought home some of his third-grade schoolwork. Not reams of mimeographed math problem practice sheets, but his own watercolor paintings. His crocheted potholder. His hand-carded, handspun and plied yarn.
While Ian was preparing dinner, Lucas was out in the backyard, shooting homemade arrows at targets with his most recent handmade bow.
During dinner, Lucas told us the story of Moses and the Hebrew people wandering the in the desert. This was a treat for us because he doesn’t always want to talk about what’s going on at school. I marveled at how parts of the story were so well-crafted, as if he had absorbed whole phrases of the narrative word for word because the pictures in his mind responded to them. He also told us he got to shovel manure today—and that he’s aware he’ll be doing a lot of that sort of thing next year because the fourth grade does the animal chores on the school farm. We discussed how interesting the Norse myths will be next year.
After dinner tonight, he played for us a piano sonatina. It has three movements and is about six pages of music, with plenty of repeats and codas. His sonatina is not perfect. Some sections are played faster than others. There are rough patches that we hope he will iron out through practice before his next piano recital in a couple of weeks. But, damn! My kid just made music out of nothing but his knowledge and skill and feeling.
Who is this capable being standing before me?
I cannot promise to be the perfect, carefree mom all summer. I will not promise to keep him entertained through the dog days. All I can promise is to try to meet him where he is now, which is most certainly not where he was a year or a month ago. Now is new, and brave and capable and lovely.