It dawns with such hope and breathes life back into me. I wait in anticipation of what noises I will hear, what smells I will smell, and what awaits me. I feel compelled to review the dream from which I just awoke. I hadn’t had a teaching dream in such a long time. Why now? It seems so strange – after having not taught for nearly seven years… why now? I try to hold the feeling, the empowering feeling of inspiring student minds. I miss it. They inspired me more than I could ever have inspired them. I hope one day this point will be made.
Coffee. Shower. A new beginning.
As it is every morning, my coffee is brewing as I come down the stairs. It is something I look forward to very much – time spend with Kevin over coffee. The morning debrief of the day before and the list of the things that approach this new day.
The debrief. It was David’s 18th birthday yesterday. Our youngest boy – now a man. Now able to vote. Now borrowing my car. Now sure of his footing – at least for the day. A strapping 6′ something and a heart as big as a horse. He has most certainly lived up to his name. I breathe a new breath. My brain is still sorting things out. The little boy is now a man. I try to clear the haze of his youth from my vision so that I may open a lens to who his is now. I want to see him clearly, yet I keep clouding my vision with memories of who he once was. I yearn for a clear picture yet am unsure I am doing it justice. I want to look at him as others would see him – without my bias, without my history, without the stories. I feel like that would free him and allow him to simply “be” him – to be “David”. But I can’t. He – my baby – is indelible. Eternal. From the moment he was born, the dye was cast and my love for him forged. He is a mix of his past and his present – of what I saw and what I see – of things that have happened and things yet to be. They all are … all three of my children.
My family. Oh, how much fun we had last night celebrating David’s birthday. And his siblings took to their roles as masters of ceremonies like ducks in water. I stood back and watched. I followed. I let go of the reigns of parenthood. And they charged forward with me in tow. Each of them is unique and each has talent. Each has grown into fine, young people. And I am proud to call them my children.
The dishes. The house empties and quiets as the morning leisure time turns its hands to write the list of endless morning chores. Tidy, mop the floor, clean a cupboard or two, prepare the recycling… mundane chores that keep our house running smoothly. It is the calm context in the chaos of life. While the world swirls around me I keep my own pace and look for cracks in the armor that cancer and covid put around me. I’m not sure whether to cast off the protective barriers or to patch them? Too soon? Am I too fragile? Who am I underneath it all?
A new day is dawning on so many levels and with it brings the thrill of discovery and the threat of change. There are so many days it feels like a double edged sword and a salve that heals all at once. I breathe in such hope, and exhale the despair. I breathe in the challenge and exhale the debris. It is time to move on.
The walk. A walk clears my mind and grounds my intent. I am pragmatic as I walk through the woods and bathe through the trees. It is the morning after David’s 18th birthday celebrations. And I look forward to living the day – and to tomorrow’s debrief.