Sunday, January 3, 2010


when i blog in my head, i try to come up with a title that will help me remember what i was thinking word to capture a thread of what i'm working on as i drive or fall asleep or rock and nurse a baby. a few days ago, i named a thread perspective. but i can't for the life of me remember what it was about. well, obviously it was about perspective, but i couldn't remember how that was relevant to whatever it was i was thinking about. oh well.

so today, i typed a line about how having a teenager and a baby in the house made the air crackle with possibility. and i really liked that...something deep inside me raised its fist and went "right on!" so i felt i was on to something. on the way to mass, i thought more about it. about the possibilities of my youngest as she grows and develops...and i mean from the ground up, you know. those darned hands...they're difficult. she keeps bopping herself on the head and i'm pretty sure that's not what she was trying to do. but she doesn't dwell in frustration...she keeps on going. i think we'll have a party when she gets control of those little hands. and her eyes...oh man...the other day she had the hiccups and every time she'd hiccup, her eyes would cross. and it would take her a few minutes to uncross them. but then she'd hiccup and they'd cross again. it was a little diaphragm/ocular muscle workout for about fifteen minutes. i admit it, i laughed. and it's awesome watching her develop and grow...all those possibilities for her. it squeezes my heart.

and then there's her biggest brother with all of his own possibilities. a brother-in-law who's a high school counselor talked to me about testing, scholarship, and college admission requirements over the holiday. (and btw, it's kind of really uncool to talk to a new mom about this stuff so soon after birth...just if you were wondering...makes her feel THAT MUCH MORE overwhelmed than she already did and also makes her kind of hate you...just sayin') but my teen has so many possibilities ahead of him. and i don't just mean educationally or academically or career choosing/developing/shaping. his first girlfriend broke up with him yesterday. oh my...for a nonviolent woman, i really did want to punch her face in just the tiniest bit. and watching him deal with that...that squeezed lots of stuff, too. and i'll admit it, i cried...after everyone went to bed that night...a little because i hurt for him and a little for me just because it felt overwhelming.

there is so much emphasis on raising babies. and the teen years so often just get generalized as difficult or rebellious or whatever. but it is amazing watching a young one cross that long winding bridge to self responsibility and accountability. (like the way i made it sound like there's an end to that bridge? well, if there is, i haven't found it yet) it's just neat to go from walking in front of your child, holding their hands, supporting them, clearing the path of any dangers, showing them where to go, providing them good nutrition, good opportunities, experiences to walking alongside them...sometimes even letting them lead. hell, sometimes needing them to lead. and this is what i've found parenting to be about...for all five of them. and so i have six wonderful folks i get to do walk with daily...because yes, my pharmacist/doctor/breadwinner husband walks right alongside us. and that is just so much possibility in one house...

when i taught philosophy, i read this poem with the students by emily dickinson called "i dwell in possibility"...

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

the kids were brilliant about it. i remember one student that brought tears to my eyes as he talked about his blank page being possibility...nothing but everything at the same time. and i think this is where i dwell...or what dwells in me...either way.



corscorp said...

A treasure. (this post)

*Jess* said...

I kinda want to punch her too. What on earth was she thinking? Obviously she was not smart enough for him :)