Friday, May 20, 2011


Do you remember this?

When your baby was a bewildering and bewildered little lump whose main purpose seemed to be to get dressed up in baby shower gifts and photographed?

And then, about five minutes later, they're walking and talking and playing baseball and guitar and turning ten.  Ten!  As in double digits.

Seriously, how does this happen??

When baseball season started up this year, I checked out Shirley Jackson's Raising Demons from the library again, mainly to re-read the part where her eldest son, Laurie, played his first Little League game. What I remembered from my first reading was how hilariously catty the moms are, and how much more invested in the outcome of the game the parents were than the kids (ha! our generation did not invent this tendency!), but on rereading, I now see that it's about your babies growing up.  Jackson writes in pure storytelling style, without the alternating sections of reflection, the circling in on the topic that marks the modern motherhood essay.  But these little moments give more insight into how she's thinking and feeling than a lot of reflective chatter:

"Suddenly, Dot said, 'Oh,' in a weak voice and I turned around and Laurie and Billy were coming through the door in their uniforms.  'They look so--so--tall,' Dot said, and I said, 'Laurie?' uncertainly.  The boys laughed and looked at each other."

I had the same feeling last Saturday when M pitched his first (and so far, only, thanks to the incessant rain) game of the season.  He looked so--so--tall.  And, like he knew what he was doing out there.

His interests have always been, to some extent, alien to me, and more and more, it seems, he's traveling into realms where I cannot follow, but only sit by as an audience member (except fonts; we both get excited about fonts).

Just a year ago, M got a guitar for his birthday, and began lessons in July.  His teacher has been so pleased with his progress, that he handed down his own childhood electric guitar to M several months ago.  C almost immediately bought him an amp, and has been holding it for this special day.  We let him open his gifts last night, since we're going camping right after school.  He immediately put it through the paces--Back in the USSR, Folsom Prison Blues, Purple Haze.

Near the end of the chapter, Jackson writes, "'Well,' Dot said, 'I did hear the boys talking one day.  They said they were going to take some time this summer and clean out your barn, and set up a record player in there and put in a stock of records and have some dances.'

"'You mean..' I faltered.  'With girls?'

"'Dot nodded.

"'Oh,' I said."

We're not quite there, yet, but if he keeps puckerin' those lips while he plays, it won't be long.


  1. Wow, ten! I love that photo of him swimming in those giant overalls. I'm sure your kids are thriving with such a thoughtful mama.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful post Andrea. Happy birthday.


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