Passages and Secrets

SamHappyIt was a Paul Simon kind of morning, a rhythmic kind of morning, and everything built around a peculiar beat. The Alabama sky was dazzling blue, and Sam put on clothes without a fight for the first time in a week. Caroline lost her belt, and she nearly forgot to wear shoes, but nobody shouted getting out the door, and the Darth Maul mask didn’t have to go into time out like it has so many mornings lately.

Sam read to me last night, each word precious and halting, a hard won battle of chosen sounds. I didn’t learn like this. I was five, and I grasped it in a day. I guess I’d been working my way there for a long time, but the kindergarten teacher said, “ ‘Sun’ S-U-N. ‘Up’. U-P.”, and suddenly, the world of Buffy, Mack, and the whole crew of Sun Up was completely open to me. Caroline was a little older, but the experience was the same. One day, those collections of letters meant nothing, then the next, she came out with “context”.  Scott learned from street signs, when he was three.

Scott stayed awake until the early hours of this morning, reading in the middle of his office. When was the last time a book seized you that hard? When did you crack the cover and somehow emerge at two a.m., with a kink in your neck, and sore legs, because you’d completely forgotten to sit down? When did you travel so far?

Nobody ever told me love could mean arm-black bite-bruises delivered by a little boy who hurts that hard inside. Nobody told me it meant trying to tell him the blue sky, when all he sees are thunderheads. Nobody told me that love is standing still with your child until you don’t notice the passage of time, that it’s like learning to read a little each day, every word precious and hard won.



About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Passages and Secrets — 14 Comments

  1. when I stop crying, from the sheer beauty of these words and the experience behind them, I will still be here saying that every single thing that is hard won is worth the effort. I used to want life to be easy but I am feeling in my 40s that the struggles are worth the rewards. That love and life and words are worth the effort.

    Oh my friend, this was such a beautiful tribute to those journeys. xo
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    • I think that when I feel like he’s on more solid ground, that he knows what to do when it all falls apart – because it’s going to, again and again, and I can only teach him how to pull it back together for himself, and I can’t force it when he’s an adult – when I feel like all of that has worked, I’ll be in a better place overall.

  2. Yes, you’re great writer, but you’re an even better mother. If I hadn’t met you, I’d still appreciate how you make your relationship with your children so vivid and understandable.

    I loved this.
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  3. Posts like this are another gift to your children. They already know they’re lucky to have you, but I’m glad they’ll be able to go back and read this record someday.
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