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"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass







Monday, September 3, 2012

first day of 1st grade



To my son on his first day of 1st grade,

You, buddy friend are a gift.  A lightening rod of joy, of magic.  Woven together by stars and dreams.

You've gone through these doors before, a year of kindergarten at your back. Yet somehow, I feel this year is the start of the real run.  The year of your awakening to life's ups and downs - to how humanity can be all twisted up in both beauty and pain.

I won't write that I would take any of the pain you will experience away, as much as I want to.  Because that pain sweet boy? Is your heart expanding to let the whole world in.

Remember that you are more than how fast you run, your score in math, or the number of friends in your circle.  Just remember that the rest of the kids? They are too.  Please be kind to those that smell a little stale, whose t-shirt fits a little tight and is not quite right, to the ones with down cast eyes.  Be kind too to those who fight with words, intimidate with strength or the ones who are down right mean.  One thing I've learned is those that live on the edges, or who seem too much of one thing or another usually means a person is hurting, or might be a little lost.  Even if you can't help them find their way, you just might point them home.

Oh son, color with every crayon in your box. When your year is done, I pray you bring home just nubs and scraps, some cracked from the pressure of putting your mark on life, each one tested and lived.  Don't just use the colors set forth by others, try your hand at mixing and expanding what feels natural to you.  For nothing is just one color, or one dimension, or seen by each person the same way.  Who cares if others tell you the sky is blue or that a crow is black.  Haven't you seen the sky lit with gold? And sat in awe at the purple hues along a crows back?

Let me remind you that your dad and I are not leaving your corner.  Not when you mess up.  Not when you fall behind.  Not when you've been unkind.   For as much as you'll experience these things outside, I have a mama sized hunch your own depravity will be what disillusions you the most.  This is the part of you I wish to scoop up and hold in my arms until you know that through it all, you will always be enough.  There will be days that I spend correcting - sharpening your character against my expectations. But there will never, never be a night that I don't lay myself down completely in love with you.

You broke the sky open for me.  Did you know that?  You made me a mama.  You made me a better person.  You made me believe in dreams again.  So while I'm busy making you, don't forget to see that you are busy making me too.

What's that now?  You're by the door pleading with me to stop squeezing you so tight?  One more fix of your hair, smoothing down of your shirt and you're set to go.  Wait! One thing you forgot.  Unzip your bag...there you go, now you've packed my heart.

Til the moon turns to dust,
mama

{sharing with Just Write, imperfect prose}

32 comments:

  1. Beyond lovely, Tara. I can relate -- my little one is in first grade, too. So much love.

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  2. My guy just started kindergarten and your beautiful words ring so true for me.

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  3. Beautiful as always. I'm still trying to figure out how to pack my heart in my kindergartner's bag :) He just won't slow down long enough for me to unzip that shiny new backpack! Blessed as always to linger here. Thank YOU

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  4. This is just too sweet. He will appreciate this when he's all grown up!

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  5. I loved every single word.

    Love,
    Erika

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  6. Absolutely beautiful! My oldest just started kindergarten and your words echo my thoughts.

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  7. Tara, sorry I haven't been around in a while. Re-aligning life and recuperating. Your comment? You had me at {i see you here}. Seriously. You had me--tears and everything. And this little piece? Oh, girl the way you write--you made me swell, just downright swell with emotion. Thinking of my little ones now and how fast they'r growing. Better get in there to them to write scripture while there is still morning light. Love to you, dear girl. xo.

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  8. Love this as I sent Charlie off to Kindergarten this year. It is hard to send them off into a world that I can't quite control as much as I would like to anymore. Good luck to Owen this school year!

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  9. "Oh son, color with every crayon in your box. When your year is done, I pray you bring home just nubs and scraps, some cracked from the pressure of putting your mark on life, each one tested and lived. Don't just use the colors set forth by others, try your hand at mixing and expanding what feels natural to you. For nothing is just one color, or one dimension, or seen by each person the same way."

    These brilliant mama words, I am taking them for me. I'm letting them settle into my soul so that I can inhabit them and pass them down to my little first grader too.

    You are such a wise mama.

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  10. This is lovely...I love the line about him being busy making you too. I wish I had been writing (blogging, scrapbooking....anything!) when my kids were this age. You will cherish this, as will they, in the years ahead. I wrote something that echos similar sentiments a week or so ago - mine are 25 and 22...one married, and one starting his last semester of college.

    http://mymemoryart.blogspot.com/2012/08/i-remember.html
    (if you get a second!)

    This was a joy to read!

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  11. Yes, to all of it. I remember those first days of growing into manhood like it was yesterday. And love the way you teach him perspective to use color with his own imagination, not to conform to the world's thinking. Yes! And this: your own depravity will be what disillusions you the most - its what makes me cry for my own children the most. Lovely as usual Tara, just like you.

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  12. I've never participated in Just Write (although I've had it on my things-to-do list forever!). So, I'm pretty sure people aren't going to think much about my opinion, but wowzers, you should win the week.

    You can write it, girl. Filled with deep emotion and love. Love your writing. Hope the book is going well.

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  13. I've missed your heart. but mine is warmed knowing you've been caring for these hearts here. because oh mylanta do you know how to love well.
    So blessed by you, Tara! your boy is going to blow 1st grade out of the park!!

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  14. "we will always be in your corner..." yes and yes and yes. How better to teach him that he will always be enough.
    Beautiful.

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  15. This line... "Because that pain sweet boy? Is your heart expanding to let the whole world in."

    And this... "Remember that you are more than how fast you run, your score in math, or the number of friends in your circle. Just remember that the rest of the kids? They are too."

    Your authenticity helps me breathe.

    Loved this... love your writing.

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  16. "you broke the sky open for me"....heart melting over these words
    and all the others
    you've woven together so hauntingly beautiful
    until they sing
    over my soul
    soft and open again.
    thank you for this wonderful share,
    Jennifer

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  17. This is so sweet! I think this is my favorite line, "Oh son, color with every crayon in your box. When your year is done, I pray you bring home just nubs and scraps, some cracked from the pressure of putting your mark on life, each one tested and lived."

    I pray my box of crayons looks like this when I get to see my Maker. :)

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  18. Um, can we send this letter to every kid in the world, please? This is awesomeness. Well done!

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  19. Is there a word better than beautiful? I would use that word here. Your words. Wow. Your heart. So blessed to call you friend. Your writing talent and mothering talent both shine brightly in this piece. Tuck this into his box of memories. You must.

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  20. This "Remember that you are more than how fast you run, your score in math, or the number of friends in your circle." is what I'm working on with my son right now. It's about the content of your character.
    You never fail to impress me, move me with your words and your heart. Just beautiful. I hope this is an incredible year for your boy.

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  21. Undone. Simply undone. Oh, these boys named Owen.

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  22. Incredible. Just incredible. I want to wrap this post and give it to my girls. This is just...right.

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  23. Oh go on and make me weep won't you? Beautiful, Tara. Simply, radiantly beautiful...and I know those feelings and the ones that want to keep those babies tucked tight below my protective arms but want even more to hold them up in the world and watch them fly in their own uniqueness. I always love stopping by here...

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  24. Beautiful, beautiful words and love and mothering and heart.

    {Lucky mama, lucky boy.}

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  25. oh, those last lines especially tugged hard, dear tara... "you've packed my heart." and the way you call him buddy, the same way i call my boys buddy. what a hard and beautiful day this must have been for you. so much love.

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  26. I feel the mama love here, and know that love well...oh, just wait til he's grown and you hold his babies, your grand babies, it's a whole 'nother level of love! :)

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  27. "Color with every crayon in the box"....I love that....with your love he will be fine. Thank you for sharing this Tara. This speaks to every mother, even ones whose kids are almost 30. :-)

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  28. I've had two of these days - one more coming. You'll remember it forever.

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  29. So beautiful, as always. You've spoken the words on the heart of so many mothers in these first days of school. Your boy will love reading these words when he is older. Hope the first day(s) have gone well and you can spend this weekend reconnecting.

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  30. Revisiting your blog after a two-month hiatus, and I must say that you are possibly more talented with words than you are with your photographs. And that is saying a LOT because your photos are wonderful.

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  31. Beautiful... I'm so happy to have found your lovely writing. New biggest fan.

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