Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pie Perfection is Over-Rated

This slice is like the first piece out of the pie: Kind of a mess. The piece the server keeps for themselves so they can give everyone else something pretty. It's a who-do-I-think-I-am-obsessing-over-every-little-thing slice. It's a looking-for-my-own-flickering-light kind of slice.
One slice
is not the whole pie, though. It is not.
Not even close.
And who said a triangle was the definition of beauty?
So, on second thought, here it is. A rustic slice, for what it's worth, in all its crumbled, messy glory. You don't need the whole story. Just eat.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pomp and Circumstance

She wore pigtails.  I see her on the front stoop in a purple shirt sprayed with daisies and wearing a backpack almost as big as she is. This, before posing for a picture and climbing into the van to head to a place called "Sunshine House Preschool."  If you picture a place called Sunshine House and think about the kind of people that might work at such an establishment, you would understand the excitement of little pigtailed girl.

My excitement, while fed by the quality of the program at Sunshine House, was mostly due to the impending birth of a foreign-to-me concept for the previous five years--Time To Myself.  Time to write, time to grocery shop in peace, time to ponder life without interruption, time to go to the bathroom in solitude, time to wander through any store of my choice without the worry of little hands touching or little feet doing wandering of their own. Did I mention Time To Write?
I was Giddy. We couldn't get in the car fast enough.

I turned on NPR for the classical music I always listened to since I had heard about the "Mozart Effect."  My mind wandered as I drove, listening to a peppy violin concerto while the pigtailed one babbled, "Violins! Violins! Violins!" in the backseat.  She loved listening to violins, which eventually led to violin lessons and that's a slice for another day.
As I fantasized about all the different things I might do after dropping her off, the pull of the bookstore won out. Definitely, the book store.  That's what I'd do.  Oh, the glory of uninterrupted book shopping!
The monotone of the NPR announcer, explaining the history of the piece we'd just been listening to faded to the background of my consciousness. I was far, far away in my new old land of myself, of motherly independence. Of sweet freedom. And then, in an unexpected way, I was jerked back to reality. It wasn't a fender bender or a child throwing up in the backseat.  It wasn't something in the scenery on our drive or a passing ambulance.

Music. "Here's a little Pomp and Circumstance for your morning," the announcer intoned.  Immediately the car filled with the opening notes of the familiar graduation march. My first thought was the last time I'd heard it, when I walked in my own graduation at Michigan State University less than a decade before. My second thought came upon looking in the rear view mirror at the pigtails in the backseat.  She was looking out the window, listening and swaying a little to the music.  Today was the first day of "The School Years."  A journey that would end with Pomp and Circumstance.  I pictured her, processing with a cap and gown, years down the road, and I filled with a knowing that these school years would fly.  The excitement of my new found freedom would ebb, and someday I would grieve a bit for all the interruptions of which I was currently celebrating a welcome disappearance.  I wiped tears away, laughing at myself, feeling bittersweet already about an event to happen fifteen years in the future.

This month we will listen once again to Pomp and Circumstance as that daughter processes to receive her high school diploma. Sunshine House Preschool recently closed its doors due to low enrollment. So many school districts offer preschool now and times have changed. Only a couple of years ago did I get rid of that backpack.  And little did I know then that I'd be toting another almost preschooler to her big sister's high school graduation in 2015.  We'll be back at our old stomping grounds of nearby Michigan State as she walks, smiling in anticipation of her sweet freedom and not fully knowing the burden of such things or able to see the golden glow of a childhood in the rear view mirror. It will just be our girl, caught up in a moment of her own Pomp. Her own Circumstances. And that's as it should be.  
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