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Archive for the ‘change’ Category

Last summer, I blogged about my sweet children driving me insane.  We spend a lot of time together, and a year ago, I didn’t even have work to separate us.

I remember that feeling of, “OMG CAN I READ TWO PAGES OF MY BOOK WITHOUT YOU NEEDING SOMETHING?”  But I also remember taking deep breaths and, for the most part, keeping my swearing only to myself because I knew someday it would change.

Someday, they would have lives.

That day has arrived.

This summer, my son is teaching himself Latin, in addition to continuing his own Japanese IMG_7939language studies.  He spends a lot of time translating Japanese poems and Latin books he finds online.  Starting in a week, he’s working at the UW a couple days a week helping Japanese students.  He’s heavily involved in BloodBourne and Dark Souls , and he’s also watching a lot of Japanese anime, with and without the captions, as part of his Japanese self-studies.  He speaks a lot of Japanese to me, and I either reply in stilted German or bad Spanish.  Not that I know what he’s saying.  But then he doesn’t know what I’m saying, either, so we usually end up laughing.

He walks about 20 miles a week, and he comes out of karate rolling on laughter about inside jokes that he happily tells me, and sometimes I even laugh, but I’m removed from it all.  We used to walk together, and he would tell me all his story ideas and goals for the future.

He used to cry if I left the dojo before his practice was over.

IMG_7953Meanwhile, my daughter has discovered a social life and social media.  She texts her friend travelling in Italy and takes solo bike rides around town. She makes music videos on an app called Music.ally, which is pronounced musically, not Music Ally, OMG.  The music videos are complete with outfit changes, scene changes, sound and video mixing, and sometimes, the dogs’ participations (not necessarily willingly).  I’m horrible at memorizing lyrics. I tend to make up my own.  My daughter remembers everything after hearing it once, and she wants to “help” me learn the real words. But it’s rapid fire, and I am left behind, like I was for years when I would have sworn it was “Amber rain” and not “I’m all right.”

She goes into her room and talks to her friends or stays up until 1 am reading or makes music videos or creates amazing animals out of clay while listening to Rachel Patten, who is her most favorite singer ever.

She still tells me everything she and her friends do together, or what they texted or said and shows me her videos and theirs.  She talks to me about her books in depth and lets me read them and asks me questions that are echoes of questions I have asked her about books down through the years.

Bu she closes her bedroom door when she goes into her room to do anything.

This summer, I am find myself longing for still moment when we can all just sit in the same room for more than 30 minutes.  I find myself wanting to hang out with them and listen to their silly jokes about sex and “out of the mouths of babes” reactions to news, politics, life.

They still annoy me with their lack of understanding for how to put toilet paper on the toilet paper roll or take the garbage bag out of the garbag can before it is so full, it literally explodes when I try to take it out.  They still need me to buy food for them, apparnently, because several independent expeditions I have sent them on have resulted in a lot of not-what-I-asked-for. And they still need me to be there for them when they need me, and tell them everything is going to be OK when they don’t think it is.

They don’t like it when I’m gone too much in one day or too many times in one week.  They miss me when I take a weekend.  They talk to me all the time, and we spend a lot of time together, still, especially given that they are 16 and almost-13.

But.

Last summer, I was still parenting children.

This summer, I would say I am more of a mentor–much loved, I know this– to two amazing people.

And, I hesitate to say this because of all the “DON’T BE YOUR CHILDRENS’ FRIEND” articles out there, but…they are my friends.  Young friends, still.  I still need my own friends, and always will. I still get to make them do things and I have no problem calling them on their stuff.

But…I like them.  As people, as kids…the toilet paper and garbage bag issues aside….I like them.

 

I will be honored if, someday, they choose to call me their friend in return.

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It freezes me, this packing up of things that have belonged in my world for my entire adult life. I can only do a little at a time before the breathlessness comes over me, every muscle in my body succumbing to the shakes as if I were going through withdrawals.

“I know we’re going through ‘rough’ times right now,” I wrote in a card that I find nestled between a stack of books in the bedroom. “But no matter what, I will always love you.”

No matter what.

I tell my children this: “I will always love you. No matter what.” My son appears to accept this as fact and has never questioned exactly what he might have to do for me to not love him. My daughter is not so easily fooled.

“Will you still love me if I rob a bank?” she has asked.DSC_3026

“Yes. I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll still love you,” I reply.

“Will you still love me if I steal a car?”

“Yes. I will make you take the car back and turn yourself in to the police, but I’ll stand by you. I will still love you.”

“What if I become a vampire?” she says, “and try to drink your blood? Or a zombie, and I try to eat your brains? Will you still love me, no matter what, or will you stake me or chop me in half?”

(Honest, she has not watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Walking Dead. She doesn’t need to.)

I argue that’s a more difficult question, because if she’s a vampire, then she’s a demon, and if she’s a zombie, she’s already dead…but she will have none of it.

“I’m still me. Will you still love me?”

So I tell her yes, I will always love her. I might be disappointed in some of her choices or heartbroken that I might have to stake her if she attacks me, but I will always love her. No matter what.

Or at least, I will love the ‘her’ that she once was.

I don’t tell her that, but it’s the truth at the bottom of the phrase.

“I will always love you. No matter what.”

I don’t know when I signed that card with this phrase exactly, but given what I wrote in its entirety, I can narrow down the ‘when’ to within the last five years. “No matter what” was singularly based in what I thought I could possibly do that would change things at that time. It never occurred to me that my choices and actions might not have anything to do with anything. The end was not controlled by me.

I can go on loving, if I want to, no matter what. But it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t alter the fact that I can only control my choices, my actions–my love.

There is a new box beside the door which will go out when the kids are picked up tomorrow. It’s

SONY DSCnot a big box. But it’s full of meaning. I think. And I can’t do anymore tonight. I need to sit on the deck and let the tremors subside and the breath return. I need to watch the moon rise like it has done for my whole life, and did before I existed, and will continue to do long after I have moved on from this existence.

 

I need to know some things do stay the same.

No matter what.

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