I am aware that it appears as though I’ve been loading up my u-haul for the last three weeks in preparation for my move to the East Coast, where I will be pitching a tent in the Guilford Green and taking showers in the Guilford Free Library, because I will have no home and no job there when I arrive.
But, in fact, that’s not what happened after my recent trip to the east coast. I got home to Berkeley. Spring’s arrival is unambiguous. Poppies everywhere. Jasmine blooming in huge bunches. Meyer lemons bursting on our bush outside. How could I live anywhere but where I live? And so I became distracted from blogging and everything else, and for three weeks I’ve been picking bunches of blooming things and coloring easter eggs and cooking stuff. Lovely.
While doing all that, I’ve been thinking about this particular time in my life. Spring is universal and timeless. It comes. It goes. Things burst into life and then they are dormant. Against that backdrop though, my children are becoming teenagers — a season I won’t ever see again, but one I love watching from a distance.
What I’ve noticed is that this bursting-into-life, their spring, is actually pretty wonderful. Adolescence is a time of big, gusty emotion, which can be a pain to deal with and can really unbalance a woman who isn’t used to that kind of drama (except when she’s doing it). It’s also, though, a hugely fun time. My kids are mischievous — they tease each other and me, and although I know that doesn’t sound like a big thing, I love it that they feel enough freedom to give me a hard time about listening to Lady GaGa. I also love it that Lady GaGa, with her many weird outfits exists this spring. And my kids are excited about being freer, about going to a big urban high school in the fall, about finding their own way — on the bus and at that school and then into the bigger world.
This weekend, Jack’s performing in Rigoletto — he has three lines on that huge stage, but he belts them out beautifully. And Charlie? He’s jumping off things on his skateboard that are very big — and spinning around when he does it and then landing and looking like it was all no big deal. (While he wears the helmet I force him to wear). It’s scary and exciting and fun to watch them. I love being the mother of these kids, love the way they’re stepping onto the stage and launching themselves into life.