I'm still putting my thoughts together, but: I find that there is a certain appropriateness to the fact that I am spending this last week of my daughter's legal childhood finishing things.
This started out as "hey, let me knit her gauntlets! and I wonder if I can knock out that sweater!" It became...not a rush against the clock, but a ballet of intricate planning. Because I had to get it and all of my other Sekrit Plans accomplished without her knowing. And I have quite a few Sekrit Plans. So I have been accomplishing all of these interlocking tasks without her being aware in the slightest that anything out of the ordinary is going on. She walks in the door, I'm copyediting or reviewing a book like I've been doing nothing else all day, like I didn't just rush to get everything hidden.
I wove in the ends of the gauntlets just now, and as I finished, the book with all of your advice arrived via FedEx. I'll weave in the ends of the sweater tonight, after she goes to bed. But I can put the other pieces of her ritual in place while she's curled up on the loveseat with her laptop.
I am finishing things. The other side of this is that I have given myself this space outside of time, outside of routine, to finish things. I am not beginning anything this week. Tasks completed do not trigger new tasks. I am not running. I am slowing down to breathe.
I gave birth to her when I was a few days past my 21st birthday. I have never had an adult life that was not centered on parenting her. And I know that yes, next week I will still have to nag her to hang up her coat and put her socks in the hamper. She will still live with me until late summer.
But it does very much feel like the pivot point is in two days. I will always be her mother. She will always be my daughter. But yes. This is a tremendous life change for me. I've been feeling it Impending for almost a year, and this is when it becomes real: this, her graduation, and then her leaving home.
I am holding this space open. I am allowing myself to do what feels right here.
"We write to discover what we believe." ~~Jonathan Carroll
"...part of you pours out of me in these lines from time to time." ~~"Case of You", Joni Mitchell
"There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in." ~~"Anthem", Leonard Cohen
"If you wanna be immortal, you gotta have something to trade in." ~~"Anything", Foetus
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." ~~George Bernard Shaw
"The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words, and that if you know the words that the world is made of you can make of it whatever you wish." ~~Terence McKenna
"When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other." ~~Rob Sheffield
"I have a sickness in the brain. I'm allowed to make no sense to you puny mortals with your fully operational head-meat." ~~Spider Jerusalem
"Sometimes you crash. Sometimes, the fall kills you. And sometimes... sometimes, you fly." ~~Neil Gaiman
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself." ~~Lois McMaster Bujold
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." ~~Albert Camus
"Being able to speak the unspeakable is very powerful. If we can hear another person express where they get stuck, or lost, or repeat a negative pattern, it builds a bridge." ~~SARK
"Myths and legends die hard in America." ~~Hunter S. Thompson
"Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible." ~~Edwin Land
"Having faced the fire of your initiation and survived its heat, you can now serve others in a whole new way. By being a living testimony to life transformed, you carry in your cells a sacred knowledge, and in your mind and heart a sacred fire. It's not the fire of youth but the fire of Prometheus, who emerged with the light that would light the world. It's a light that you only could have gotten from having faced some version of your personal hell, and now you are inoculated to the fires which rage around us. Sometimes it is fire that puts out fire, and such is the fire that now burns in you. This is not the fire of your destruction but of your victory. It is the fire of the middle years." ~~Marianne Williamson
"Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed…what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness…it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealously among the prime themes of literature." ~~Virginia Woolf
"The Universe puts us in places were we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are is the right place, at the right time. The pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
"I will tell you a great secret, Captain, perhaps the greatest secret of all time: The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station, and the nebula outside - that burn inside the stars themselves. We are star-stuff. We are the Universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. And, as we have both learned, sometimes the Universe requires a change of perspective." ~~Delenn, Babylon 5
"Light Leak", by SJ Tucker
Swirling stars into my skin With a leaky stolen pen Stories end, pull kenning in Let the light leak in I finally let the light leak in
I am kenning all I can She and I, me and my mind, Writing hard for the one true thing That lets you let me in Beguiling what must to gain the trust of the minutemen I am worth investing in and I never stop spinning.
Kenning yarns out of my skin With a leaky borrowed pen Swirling stars and stories in Will you let the light leak in?