Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tape on the Wall

You know that edge of the door jam where you mark your child's height year after year? Or do you keep those marks on a poster? I'm talking about that height momento that we start out keeping because we are measuring where they are going but we end up keeping with a feeling that they are getting there too fast... 
that thing.

When we moved down here to Australia I made some marks on some handy duct tape and put that tape up on the back of my bedroom door as soon as we settled into our Australia rental home.  I put it right in a spot where I see it every single day.

When we arrived here in August of last year my son's height marks were about four inches below the line that indicates my own height.  Elizabeth's were already about three inches above mine!  She has continued to reach for the sky, but her growth has finally slowed down a bit.

About a month ago I marked John's first mark above my own height line.  He has grown about five inches in twelve months.  His vertical growth is accelerating. His voice is changing hourly.  His emotional maturity continues to astound me.

This morning as we were driving a long way out to a friend's house he was talking about the idea of a utopian society.  A utopian society is really a dystopian society because if you never know hardship you won't recognize the good times as good, only as 'average' is those times that are challenging that lets us know when the good times come, He said.  

Seriously?  Where does he come up with this stuff?  
Nice, I responded, you just aced sophomore literature.

On our drive he sat in the grey seat next to me, his brand of stream-of-consciousness type talk roaming everywhere from plans for a computer game he is planning on designing to how he, as a father, will have decisions to make, along with his wife, as to how they will pass along the fun of Santa Claus or not to their future children to a satirical song about Voltaire he is writing in his head to what he would do if he was God for ten minutes to how much he wants to see the Louvre to plans for an upcoming video blogging session to what he wants to do when we get back to America to what kind of a thinker he is. 

In retrospect I must admit that I was driving a fairly treacherous mountain road and could, unfortunately, only half listen.  But lucky for me this kids loves telling me his plans, so there will be another talk tomorrow...

But how quickly they grow. How many more talks will we have? How that tape on the back of my door catches my eye each morning, reminding me to share their struggles, look deeper into their eyes, hold hands, laugh out loud, listen to their unspoken concerns, offer them the freedom that they enjoy, celebrate that freedom, be their port.

He will be thirteen years old in just two days... 

Time flies, you know? It moves breathtakingly fast and I, in my resentment of its speed, just hold on for the ride. 

As I type this, Elizabeth is on her phone and making plans with a friend.  She holds her phone at eye level, her eyes sparkle, laughter tumbles from her lips, her pen scrambles across the calendar.  She catches my eye and holds it for just a second...

If you enjoyed this  post you might also read: 
This I Believe
Or you might try:  Mother, the Word
Or click here:  Seasons of Homeschooling

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