It’s pretty astonishing, the level of slacking I am doing over here at this blog. If you know me, you know I am not so much of a life multi-tasker. I can do small things at the same time, but when it comes to trying really hard at one thing, all the other things are going to get minimal effort. So I have been exercising. Just exercising, not doing laundry or making real meals or returning people’s emails. Also I got very, very sick and laid in a fetal position for 3 days, singing old spirituals about that great shore, so cut me some slack, Jack. (I was raised by hippies)
This week, R2 finished 7th grade. I watch Facebook as his peers reach similar ages, and I don’t relate. In the frenetic pace of children growing and changing, he stays the same. It’s not that he doesn’t change at all. He changes like the ocean shore. The tide comes and goes, and leaves the sand every time a little different. His peers, his siblings, are like the rest of the lansdcape in a time-lapse video, birds rising and falling, people running, the sun up and down. He is steady, silent. It’s not until you look back that you see something has changed.
The night before his last school day, I changed his diaper and talked to him about it all, how he was going to be an 8th grader and how he is such a big boy now. You get used to it, the silence. I fill the air with words because I believe that Richy is listening on the inside, and I think there’s a repository of knowledge and words and an understanding of my quiet hopes that lies inside him, waiting for something. He sits, sometimes, with a knowing smirk.
And I wait, too. The sun rises and falls and he is the same, and I quiet my hopes and my darkest fears, just to be with him, to enjoy him, to be okay with the stillness. Time passes and we wait.
He will become a man and still be a child. Maybe someday we will unlock him and he’ll tell us what it feels like to be a human time capsule. Until then, we wait.