So many good things about June. It’s the farm share full of just plain delicious greens I get before the myriad farmer’s market offerings at the height of summer. All that possibility. All that hope – stretched out before me; a vast display of fortuity and happenstance. Bring it on.
With it’s usual delight, this June also brings with it a basket of bittersweet fruit. My son Garrett is graduating high school in a week. I can’t write that sentence without tearing up – which is for many reasons, not the least of which is that every time I look at him these days I see the little boy he was, all whirling dervish, all heart.
He has changed, this remarkable creature, as children do.
His mind has changed. He holds opinions he can substantiate, in a calm conversation, all the while listening intently to another side. He’s thoughtful, and interested in other people, in what they think, need, want and dream about. If life were a psychedelic drug (and who says it isn’t) he’d be flying high with curiosity – the kind achieved when one gets outside of his personal experience and thinks about things from other perspectives.
His interests and goals have changed. He has surprised us with where he has chosen to go to school (UMaine), what he wants to study (Athletic Training), how he wants to spend his summer (Interning at the local Belfast Historical Society and playing Legion baseball) and how well he seems to be handling an enormous part of his life ending (Au revoir, HOME.) More than changing, he is evolving.
But his eyes. They haven’t and they don’t change. Garrett has clear blue eyes, the deep shade that remains in the sky for just a moment before the sun dips below the horizon. They’re a bit close together, and one of them is noticeably smaller than the other, and though it may sound like a mini Picasso sketch, it’s actually quite charming. Said his mother.
As always, his eyes are full of light, anticipation, optimism and promise. They are steadfast and clear. If eyes are the window of the soul, then Garrett’s soul is shining bright and bursting with wonder, awe and potential. I simply can’t wait to see what he does next.
Which doesn’t mean I’m wishing June away.
As people do when they face great changes – whether loss, shift, or gain- I’ve prioritized. My focus right now is entirely on my family, and those the closest to us (who, to me, are family as well) as we enter into a new stage with our oldest child. Life is still chaotic and unpredictable, and our schedules are insane, but there’s a calmness surrounding us when we’re together. We sense a need to connect. Like platelets to a wound, we’re rushing to strengthen ties we’ve formed for eighteen years so this young man will know and feel the supports working to hold him up.
May he never know a life without it.
Graduation is less an ending than it is a ceremony in which a person walks to end of a 3-meter diving board, raises his arms, points his toes, tenses every muscle in his body, jumps off one leg straight up to gain momentum, lands fully on the board for a tremendous spring — and jumps. I’m telling you, this kid is working himself into a back dive with 1 1/2 somersaults, 3 1/2 twists, free position dive. He hasn’t even begun to reach his full potential.