Full day Kindergarten starts tomorrow. I’m not ready, but he is. I am handed the lesson, yet again, the catechism that a mother learns, over and over. What happens when unspeakable sadness collides with unimaginable happiness? Children grow up.
To my sweet Quinn,
Here we go. Thirteen years of school, at least, before you face the wide world. I’m a beggar tonight, riding wishes, importuning stars, closing my eyes tight and throwing my rosy copper thought pennies into the mirror-still surface of the fountain of life.
I wish you letters, for they are the basis of writing and writing allows the communication of ideas.
I wish you numbers, for they are the basis of science, of everything that whirs and moves and computes and grows and spins in this grand universe.
I wish that you learn to play nicely with others, for this is the basis of politics and business.
I wish you an open mind, for it is the basis of creativity.
I wish you confidence and courage, for they are the basis of justice.
I wish you kindness, for it is the basis of peace.
I wish you humor, for it is the basis of laughter.
I wish you empathy and awareness of others because they are the basis of friendship.
But most of all, I hope our family has taught you, is teaching you, and will continue to teach you, love. Because that is the basis of happiness.
I’ve always liked new beginnings. I’m a traveler. A mover. Unlike most people, I like goodbyes. They signify journeys, excitement, and unexplored vistas just around the corner, new people to meet and new places to experience. But, I realize today that I have spent almost forty years in the role of leaver. Always the one walking into the sunrise, embarking on a new adventure. It’s easy to see the beginning when your back is firmly and merrily turned to the ending.
The ending is the province of the ones left behind.
Today I face the inescapable conclusion that for the second forty years granted to me–should I be so lucky–I will, forever and always, be the one left behind.
I’ll be right here, baby, when you check back for the light in the window.