Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Boy

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don't mean a thing. "
 ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

My eldest turns eleven today.  He’s almost five feet tall and many times, I’m startled when he enters a room, or when I reach my arm across his shoulders to find they are almost as broad as mine.  I have moments of choked panic when I think of him leaving.  His feet stretch to the bottom of his bed, where he sprawls, quite often, a lean personification of undirected purpose.  He has a short temper with me.  In the car, I turn my head suddenly to see him, reminded of when he was a baby, just he and I driving, my arm extended so he could curl his fat little hand around my index finger.  His cushioned knees and smooth skin.  His delighted, high-pitched laugh.  His angry fits.  The way he’d work a room, those many times when he was the only child there, all attention on him, our hopes like buoyant beams on his face.

My smart, gorgeous boy.  When you were very small, you’d spread your picture books around you, organizing and talking to yourself.  Everyone was awed by your concentration, your self-sufficiency.  You’re a sensitive child, with an innate sense of justice and what is right, and I admire you for that.  Keep your moral barometer; it is accurate.  Keep your confidence; it will sustain you.  Keep your sensitive soul; it will make your life rich and meaningful.

Happy birthday, wonderful boy. 


Post a Comment

"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka