The Middle Path (An addendum)
(A follow up to a previous post my friend Liz requested to feature on her hilarious site,
A Mothership Down, many years back...)
It may be helpful to read that first?
Feel free to find it here:
I think about you, my middle path
And those words I wrote
Back when you were- no, when we were, in that period of in-between.
It's amazing the way life can just pluck our truth right out of us:
something I didn't even really understand that was there,
suddenly birthed with words, immortally captured.
The tracing finally darkened over,
A knowing greater force at work,
An invisible hand if you will.
Kind of like raising you.
I read these words again,
a post card from my own younger heart,
to myself, in my new in-between.
(I now know this will forever remain.)
My heart braces for a piercing strike at the part
where I see you at your high school graduation,
now only months away.
Scanning my emotional card catalog,
I recall the original source of that emotion:
Heaviness, filled with complexity
and a deep unknowing.
Containing too a hopefulness and promises
that felt keepable, shrouded in aloof awareness
that dark twists and turns exist.
Being present was all that was asked of me,
Reckoning with my feelings of parenting
was both effortless and excruciating.
Like feeling warm and cozy on my couch on a Sunday afternoon
while simultaneously rattling with shivers internally,
trying to contain thoughts of "what's next"...
It's all so much.
And now, here we are again-just trying our hardest to be
present in all of it.
College applications: done
Financial aid application: done
Winning football season: (almost) done
Me at this point in all of it:
You have not even been accepted anywhere yet
And still, you drive away in a real-adult-non-battery-operated-car each day,
leaving my heart to both swell and break.
You have navigated so many road blocks along the way
and each day, you pace off a little further away from needing me.
Feelings saturated with satisfaction and terror rise up
strong until I can do nothing but sit with them.
Looking to the sky once more,
The real backdrop to graduation day, muted in
an opaque and dark cloud cover that boasts of fullness,
yet refuses to yield transparency.
Rather it toes the line for the brilliance of the blue lining
The sky below crystal clear and dazzling,
holding court with its foreboding elder.
Life is all of this.
Parenting is all of this.
Love is all of this.
The struggle to feel it all is real.
When we meet this struggle without hiding or numbing
Even if we are petrified and confused or brave and proud,
we are doing the work of love and life.
We are telling ourselves we are going to be okay,
and we can hold it all.
More importantly we are inviting our children to see that they too will be okay.
Do I know what will happen to my first born, my special boy my middle path?
No, of course not.
And I don't want to know.
The not knowing is the point, the magic in the middle.
It is why we exist: to travel the relational landscape and feel all of our experiences.
So if you ever feel like this, that sticky feeling of loving and caring and worrying
so much that it hurts?
Well then my friends, meet me at the magic middle:
Just below the cloudiness and above the brightness,
that's where I'll be.
Being present is all that is being asked of any of us,
at any period, in between or not, and what the middle path wants us to know is
We've got this.