I rarely do this.
Please go to Suburban Bliss and read Melissa Summers' post "This is a first draft." She has written a post about her childhood that is so raw, magical, and beautiful that it has completely taken my breath away. I have gone back and re-read her post several times this morning, and I will probably continue to do so throughout the day.
As parents, we want so much. We want it for our kids and for ourselves and for the world that they're growing up in. We can't fathom a world in which our children experience anything except love and compassion, despite what we go through ourselves as children. We fight tooth and nail to protect what's soft and new in them, the openness in them that comes from never having been hurt before.
Last night, Max and Dan were watering the plants. It's cold enough here that we've dragged all the tomatoes and peppers and herbs inside, and they're continuing to thrive in the loft, which gets a lot of light from the southern exposure. Dan was telling Max about the plants, how we take care of them, give them light and water and we trim them back, and they grow and make food for us.
Dan said, "We take care of them, and they take care of us."
Max said, "They make us strong and healthy, right, Daddy?"
Dan said, "That's right."
I grew up without a father, and in many ways it was a mercy, especially when compared to the horror that Melissa describes. When I was 15, my mother remarried a man whom I have always called Tom. When my parents split up I was four, and I don't remember what I ever called my father. But the word "Dad" was not in my vocabulary until my son learned to speak.
The word used to be a question mark to me. Now it's a symphony.
It's just another way that my family nourishes me.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I rarely do this.