kindergarten bus stop; day 1

we barrel down the little avenue we live on ;; across the old stoney bridge ; across the canal ; the walk is just two blocks but today it feels like an eternity // the golden 8 a.m. morning light splashes through the still-summer trees // we trip along together at a clip ; being positive ; being brave, the both of us ;; I turn my face every time it scrunches up into tears and try to hollow my voice anytime it sounds shaky or gravely ;; I tell him he’s going to have so much fun. You lurch when I let go of your hand to take a picture; holding it out desperately; like a prayer for me to clasp back on. Suddenly, the big yellow cat of a bus pounces next to us on the sidewalk ;; the moment is brisk : the line is filing : the older children are ready. You are the last one on;; your eyes filled with a mixture of awe, excitement, sheer terror and absolute love. You hold on to my index finger until the last possible moment ;; until you’re almost ascending the second bus step; you climb; hurdle; tumble over yourself with the weight of your backpack // you walk halfway down the rows of bus seats until the red-haired mop of a fellow kindergartener in the front calls at you to ask you to sit with him ;; i watch you turn around and hurry towards the front ;; the bus lurches forward like a monster and peels away into the golden morning light; instantaneously; [it happens in about 45 seconds] and my heart is broken at the fault line / I can’t stand the feeling of without you. I pedal around the house / I feel the absence of you everywhere // I have loved all the endless arrays of 45 seconds laid on top of one another that I have gotten to share with you // I have loved the moments that have brought us to this day // I have loved the last 5 years / I try not to cry in front of the other parents / I try not to cry all day / I know you will be okay. I am so grateful that I get to be your mom.

The summer escaped through my fingertips like honey-ed sunflower-seed wine // your little hair gets filled with light — gets filled with knots — and all the afternoons I got to roll dice with you and move trolls across board game boards are worth more to me than anything else I could ever accomplish. I need nothing else. Nothing else makes as much sense as spending time with you. Thanks for the last 5 years.

a shelter, a house, a river

i tried to peel a poem out of my skin this morning – a little effort, a little rusty on the wheels, but still rolling, somehow; slowly;; i purpose myself towards the day — the days seem to be rushing too quickly for any ray of sun to come perch itself on my shoulder – but still i fly towards the new day; towards the end of the month – towards the rage of summer about to crash into me // i still love my gentle feet for walking me forward, i still love my feeble eyes for working in the morning ; i still adore the patter of tiny feet on my ribcage as he curls his body into mine (a shelter, a house, a river)

wild fire

how do you remain brave enough to feel it deeply, and strong enough to know when to come back up for air?

your skin so luminescent/mirrored pale and reverent/you splay in your car seat staring at the shapes that swallow the sidewalk – we bumble, we rush, we slide through the landscape; the landscape is glowing – satin pinks and lavender spines, trees curled in yellow fantasy. you are humming, your little hairs their own masterpiece. you are mumbling, i am learning always the depth of your spirit and wonder.

little one, i remember when you were womb-swimming and cotton-spun-spinning still, and i worried and i worried and i paralyzed myself with biological thoughts of fear. and the only thing that kept me strong, that kept we away from the black hole of SIDS, of birth defect guilt, of general new-mom psychosis was this image of you that i knew was true. i could feel you out in space somewhere – 24 years old, bold, beautiful, rock solid as an oak tree; burrowed on strong feet; a head filled with ideas; loving someone, maybe; someone loving you, maybe. i knew you’d be okay, no matter what…if i held on to this image in my head of the you that you are. of the life that you’re going to live when your identity is trickled out and seeping/ when you are no longer sleeping by my side. when you are just a memory of a little one and the true, strong picture in front of my eyes can hardly give way to this little splay of muscles and babyeyes. i saw you strong and living – a life of a man (or a woman) huddled on the horizon. i was giving birth to you; but more and less and less about me; more about you; a vessel for your entrance, for your creation. you are your own life, and when doubt and fear swallow me – i see you strong; maybe bigger than me now, firm and wide-eyed; full of wonder and maybe even your own beautiful heartbreak. and your own ways of coping with it. and your own tools, your own thoughts, your own vision. you are a life of your own.

care for children as the deepest souls; the most primal chunks of people’s brain wirings. care for children as magical beings in and of themselves/AND as the primeval seeds of magnificent full-fledged human beings. but they are more than seeds – this image too, is reductive. they are not latent somethings for the future, they are something present here. with their own wisdom, their own existences (fleeting, faster than death; the baby jamie, the jamie at 1, the jamie at 2, all different beings, all one being). they are something here and they are something there. time is a paragon of shapes and keep reminding yourself of the splay of the circle – of all the points laying against one another and not just this one, but how this one fits into this one and this one and this one and that one and how they are all real. they are all meaningful. they are all powerful. they are all magnificent. and they are all people. they are all their own life. not a strange creature come to annoy you or destabilize your precious life and timeline. they are their own life curled around your timeline in the most profound way. the deepest friends. the strangest wanderers. that we will know and know and know more intimately and uniquely than anyone else. because they showed us all the pieces of themselves wrapped inside the other pieces. they showed us the wide open gaseous landscapes of their most honest hearts. their true self within their true self within their true self.

i love children because there’s so much more truth. because social constructs have not begun to constrict and conflict and contort and generally bamboozle the wild fire that sometimes is so hard to feel burning in an adult. whoever said adult life was more interesting than a child’s magnificent world of splaying wonder? fuck the fantasy of adult supremacy – we lose so much when we enter the conditioning treatment of society. and so many falsehoods and so many plays and so much theatrics and so many postures and so much distance we travel from our true, open, brave hearts. for what? for what? the sham of the sham that we all lie to each other and say is more interesting, more true, more fulfilling than the honest, open heart we were born with. we learn to cover, we learn to hide, we learn to subdue, to stuff, to slink away. and why the fuck is that so great? why the fuck?

keep the intellectual growth, the complexity of understanding, the fascinating world of symbols and meanings, but also please, let us learn how to retain the wild fire. please, let us learn how to retain our bravery, our open hearts, our willingness to live, our fearlessness in discovery, our organic and ever-present ability to feel, to commit to feeling. to commit to life.

keep the magic, fuck the pretension. follow the growth – forget the contrivances, the cages, the constructs.