Rushing In

31 Jul

Guadalupe River

I laugh when I see it up close, this picture snapped quickly from the banks of the Guadalupe.

Your brother and friend, cautious waders both, are still gingerly stepping over pebbles.

But you are already coming up for air — wet hair shellacked against your face as you surface, well into your adventure while they still test the waters.

You hurl yourself into the stream with abandon, examine globs of frog eggs, chase minnows, climb cliffs.

And watching, I regret the 30 years that separate us.

I think, at 11, we would have been great friends: back when I was the cliff-climbing, rock-skipping explorer of tadpoles and tide pools,  not the bag-carrying, book-reading packer of snacks and sunscreen.

Middle school lies in wait just 23 days away. And I want to tell you, as it comes rushing with all its treacherous rapids, to wade in carefully. Watch your steps, take your time, guard your heart that you offer so readily.

But as I watch you throw yourself over and over again into the current of the Guadalupe River, I resolve to shout no such warnings from the bank.

To tell you instead,  you are strong and brave enough to rush in.

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9 Responses to “Rushing In”

  1. adjunctmom July 31, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Good for you!

    I try so hard not to recreate my issues for my kids. Just because I see elements of me in them, it doesn’t mean that they’ll have the same experiences I did.

    I try to encourage them to be braver than I ever was and at the same time make sure they know I’m always, ALWAYS in their corners no matter what.

  2. RJ Flamingo July 31, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    That’s beautiful, Dawn. Tomorrow, or the next day, they’ll drive you insane. But then, you’ll look at this photo, and laugh. And remember.

    Oh, crap. Now you’ve got me getting all sentimental…

  3. Ben August 1, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    A wonderfully written post. It’s hard being the parent sometimes; it would be so much fun to be the friend. Yet I have to say, the unconditional love, the swells of pride, I would never give them up.

  4. denisequintana August 1, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    Ah, Middle School… treacherous waters, indeed. Piranha infested, too. Great analogy. In my experience, once they are swept up in the currents and eddies of adolescence, boys don’t even seem to resurface until they are about seventeen. Then, once they finally emerge, our sons are Young Men– amazingly adult-like.

    I wonder if the end of Summer will always make us nostalgic, even when our kids are grown…

  5. ingrid August 1, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    It goes by so fast doesn’t it? For me the one that “rushes in” is the twin that was sick, the one that should be careful. Isn’t that funny? Mine just turned 13 (I cried) and I’m struggling BIG TIME with letting go.
    ~ingrid

  6. Colleen August 1, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Beautiful, Dawn. That part of my daughter’s journey seems so far off yet it’ll be here too quickly, I’m sure. I love how you refrain from giving that advice (the very same advice I know I’ll have to bite my tongue not to give) and remind her instead that she is brave, strong and ready.

  7. Icy Blue August 3, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    and now I’ve laughed and cried at your mercy today. I love your ability to discuss life’s deepest stuff with a touch that makes it accessible to all of us and leads us to ponder the same themes in our own lives. and with life’s lightest stuff, 5 things you learned… you remind us that it is light stuff and you take the time to show us the humor, the lightness in the daily lives we lead. Thank you.

  8. queenofhaddock August 4, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    You’re such a great writer. And an even better mom. Your kids are luckier than they know. (I apparently like -er words tonight.)

  9. Kelly August 12, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    I too, have an 111-year-old entering middle school (in 13 days). I have also decided that my 11-year old self would have been friends with her. I think she’s braver than I was at that age…it’s so tough, being a spectator, watching while she makes the leap. You’re a great writer, and I enjoy your blog!

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