A million years ago it seems, I had a 12 year old son. I've had two periods of having 12 year old sons, but the 12 year old I'm thinking about was my younger son. This thinking started yesterday after I began digging through some photographs, part of my "summer is almost over get the tasks done" frenzy.
After carting albums into the house from the garage, I chanced upon a photo from a trip some friends and I made to Santa Cruz with our children. There is my son smiling at me, but also, there are my friends' children. The youngest of the batch is staring right at the camera, and that eight year old child is leaving for college. Tomorrow. The cute one with the backward hat is a sophomore. Two--including my child--are graduated and into their lives. One is a senior who has traveled the world, and the other is an artist living back East.
As far as I know, Santa Cruz is still the same.
And really, so are all the children. Who they were then is who they are now. Maybe we hoped some of the rougher qualities would go away and the more functional ones would shine, and that has happened to a certain extent, but they've all just gone along in the same way doing the same things we'd have expected them to, their personalities shining and immediate in the photo.
I can barely look at it, even though I've stuck it right in front of me on my desk. That photos seems to me the face of god right now, all the truth so hard to look at and slightly dangerous. But I need to remember, even though knowing that the years have gaped open and changed the plot. The plot is very different, but the characters--I must remember--are still here.
So here's to the youngest going off to the world! Here's to the others who with great and good hope have many more years of plot to deal with. Here's to their special hearts and particular souls, no matter what they are doing.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org