Saturday, May 31, 2008

A smile, a tear, a new look at life

You know it's coming. You prepare yourself, make all the necessary arrangements, and are consciously aware that it's going to happen. You are proud, you are a bit stressed, you anticipate it.

It happens, and you think "Wow. I didn't know how I would feel about it!"

On Wednesday, DD#1 had her final choir concert of high school. Our various choirs are *outstanding* (and I can say that because I'm a music teacher myself, not just a biased mom) and that night was no exception. One song left me sobbing, it was that beautiful.

When it was all over, I hugged my daughter amid the usual mayhem and caught myself thinking "This is never happening again. It's all done."

The next day, same daughter turned 18. I knew it was coming. Really, I did. I knew what all it implied. I still had a very difficult time actually saying the words, and when I got to work that day and somebody said "Good morning, how are you today?" I started crying. At 12:04 I looked at the clock - that's when she was born, and I was thereagain, holding her in my arms for the first time.

The next day, same daughter went to her Senior Prom. This same girl who I've been living with everyday was suddenly a different and beautiful young woman to me, cool and elegant in her upswept French chignon and her understated evening gown. As she posed for pictures, I kept blinking. As I looked at the camera's screen (hers, not mine, I still don't have one yet), she just didn't look like my daughter.

They all came here after the prom, where we served them a midnight breakfast feast that lasted till three in the morning. She still seemed so different to me.

Today, she and her friends are in Manhattan for the day. I've been reliving the images of the last few days in my mind, and knowing that my life is also going through a commencement: it is a beginning of a new life with an adult child who makes independent decisions and will move away from us both physically and mentally. She will come home, of course, and I may think that everything's the same, but it really won't be, will it? She is grown, she is going on to the next chapter in life and I find myself the interested observer instead of the major player.

That's good, isn't it?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day: I'm at the top of the hill and gathering speed as I roll down

So, as a music teacher, May is always Spring concert time. Getting ready for that is no picnic, what with rehearsing 100 recorder students, a 35 member beginner band, and a 40 member regular band, but it always turns out great and this year was no exception. So, being absolutely normal, I decided to triple my fun!

I'm the guest conductor for a regional select band, and we've been rehearsing every week for five weeks. The dress rehearsal and concert is in two weeks.

I decided to do a concert with my little second graders, and that's involving LOTS of rehearsals not to mention LOTS of patience.

We always throw a huge backyard barbecue for Memorial Day after attending the service in town, and that is a LOT of work. (Note to self: stop capitalizing "lots" or find a different word.) However, we eat leftovers all week so that's not too bad.

DD#1 and #2 chorus concert is this Wednesday, and it's a biggy. Last one for #1, my HS senior. Then she turns 18 on Thursday, and goes to her senior prom on Friday. (Guess who got tagged for hosting the afterparty? Yeah.)

Then we have all the end of year activities at the school where I teach as well as for my own kids, and you can pretty well imagine what the June calendar in my kitchen looks like. Then my baby *graduates*, for Pete's sake, and life as I know it changes forever.

But yes, I have been knitting. I cast on with Shibu Knits in this beautiful honey/amber colorway, and I want to eat these socks.

I have stalled on the sweater. I had to rip back 17 rows to start the V-neck shaping, and I did it! No problems! You can't tell where I ripped it back, it came out so well! Except. . . . . (cue the ominous music). . . . . . I forgot to heed those words "at the same time" and forgot to shape for the underarm opening. I just stared at it for a little while, then quietly put it aside and said "I don't think I can look at this any more right now." I will experiment with ripping down the 8-10 stitches. Can you do that on the edge? Will it work? Tune in next time!!!

Hope your June is less hectic than mine is sure to be, and I hope you paused to remember and thank today.