29 April 2010

zoola tana

A quick road trip by Chase and I. A transfer to a new university, a fresh adventure for my young adult son. I pointed out each and every landmark along the way... look down this canyon around this corner for a glimpse at an awesome trestle bridge... when you were two you said this at this very spot... story after memory after story... I had to keep reminding myself that this is his experience not mine this time around, but Missoula is imprinted in my psyche, my own personal road map. I raised those boys as toddlers here. I was a professional at a young age. Touring campus with my former boss I witness all the new buildings -- beautiful -- but also opened a few doors and saw my mark lingering after 17 years. "You see this colorful painted bathroom Chase" I did that. This language lab, the signs, the copy center. Yep, me. Recognizing a former self. I spent time with great friends... Kelle and I climbed the "M" and the "L" and talked forever. I don't know how to explain some friendships. They are just "rooted" and strong and safe and comfortable. And so I tried to keep this all from overwhelming Chase and let him discover it on his own. We drove home mostly silent through dirt dusted rain, spring bug hatches and herds of tumbleweeds crossing the highway. What place is road map imprinted in your memory?

06 April 2010

child of mine

at the skatepark in Avalon; photo by Billy Rielly

Empty hotel nesters is the label we give ourselves. Easter arrived dusted with sugary snowflakes. A patchwork quilt of a meal was weaved together with Dad, Darren, and Chase. A boisterous visit with Grandpa and Aunts and Uncles resulted in ribbons of bright laughter. Fullness of family and friendship lulled me to slumber in peace. A note to Land Down Under wriggled through cyberspace, "remember that Khloee and the Easter Bunny love you." A reference to his four-year old self listing the most dedicated loves of his life. He is on high adventure at the moment. A three-week safari through Australia... the Murray River, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, the Daintree, Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast, and many more. We receive notes about our land. "A lovely boy" - "What a thoughtful young man" - "A great conversationalist" - "a super addition to our team." And I see him through new eyes. A good heart... independent... driven... I miss his face. Why do you learn so much about someone when separate?

This song sung at Chase's fifth grade celebration, expresses everything: (oh, and I feel this way about both my children)

Child of mine, you are the wildest wind and the dearest dream
I will ever know.
Love's lasting light shines out from deep within this father's heart
As I watch you grow.

Child of mine, you are the break of dawn and the brightest star
I will ever know
Love's lasting light comes shining on and on from this mother's heart
As I watch you grow

There is a road, and that road is all your own
But we are here, you need not walk alone.
To face, not fear each coming new unknown
Is the way to lift your wings

Child of mine, you are the sweetest song and the greatest gift
I will ever know.
Child of mine, where spirits fly above there is but one
that belongs to you.

So let it grow and it will thrive on love
For it is love that sees us through

You have the hands that will open up the doors
You have the hopes this world is waiting for
You are my own, but you are so much more
You are tomorrow on the wing,

Child of mine.

- Bill Staines