Monday, March 14, 2011

Proof of Time

It is going on five o'clock and the sun is still as bright in the sky as it is midday.  The longer hours of sun and the stretching shadows on the emerging grass tell of another winter's (hopeful) passage. 

The boys are outside riding bikes up and down the street and I am inside preparing dinner.  No longer do I stand in the driveway watching every pass up and down the street, keeping my eye on any possibility of a fall, or a bump, or a coming car.  My boys are wise enough to watch for themselves on our quiet cul de sac.

When we first moved into this house a year and a half ago my mom brought over a huge box too heavy for her to lift unassisted.  Inside were journals I'd written in high school and college, scripts from shows I'd been in, a few awards and medals, letters friends had written to me, sheet music from my favorite solos, and poetry from admiring young men who had pledged their devotion to me.  I searched further into the huge box and found poetry and letters I had written.  I thought of how pathetic that girl was as I read her letters begging those same admiring young men to love her still, and felt badly that we shared a body.  How different I was once upon a time.

I read the girl's excitement at new love.  I peeped in on some of the most intimate thoughts and remembered them as if they were mine.  Are mine.  As I read I felt her wavering esteem and listened to her crack under loneliness.  My heart broke for that girl all over again.

For me.

It is so odd looking back and seeing how far I've come.  In both good and bad ways.  I am so sorry for the girl that I was.  And yet very proud too.  All the good and the bad, I'm glad she (I) went through it.  Bringing me to exactly where I am today.  Where I am supposed to be.

I'll hang on to that box.  Every once in a while I'll look at it and I'll remember.  I'll remember how I was on stage (they said I "glowed").  I'll remember that once upon a time I was a girl that young men would write poetry about (though I always thought I was quite plain).  I'll remember my wild teenage emotions (the height of happiness and the bottom of depression).  I'll remember the devastating heartbreak and sorrow (the hopelessness, the loneliness).  I'll remember it all.  I know it will come in handy again someday.  Time is marching on and one day my own will have the same emotions I did.  They will come to me with their heartbreak and their sorrow and I will comfort them.  Watching them hurt will be worse than my own pain.  But I will understand.  And I'll be there for them.  Because I will remember.



Hilary said...

Very tender, Kat. I can see you sharing this with your wee ones, one day.

Karen Deborah said...

Beautiful. You may even pull out that old box. Your family is growing up so fast! As for you, hang on to your hat chick because you will be an old lady before you can bat an eye. Time really does FLY!

and i can see boys writing poetry over you- easy.

Mom24 said...

Beautiful Kat. You are so right too, watching them will be worse than your own pain. It is helpful to understand though.

Carol said...

There's nothing "just plain" about you, Kat....not now...and I'm SURE not then!! How far we come in our journeys. They make us who we are. Just beautiful, Kat. So you~


Dysfunctional Mom said...

I don't have a whole lot of memorabilia from my teenage years, but what I do have is pretty embarrassing. The one thing I've done is tried to instill as much confidence in my kids as I possibly can. I had none. So far, my kids seem to have a LOT....I'm very thankful for that.

Maryeliz said...

Oh what a sweet post.
I happened to find all my own journals last night. (Snatched them up from our rapidly flooding basement.) So all that you said here really spoke to me.
All best,

Suldog said...

The great lesson, which you've learned so well, is that you are where you were meant to be. So was that girl, as painful as it might have been. It's mundane and cliched, but the words are true: It's all good.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

What a lovely post. What a gift to have those journals and other mementos from your high school days to revisit (both the happy and the painful times).

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

And right now I'm feeling grateful that I can leave my teenaged self far in the dusty shelves of history and NEVER have to encounter her again!

I do love independent children at play--safe and leaving me free to make dinner!

Tabor said...

I do think we see our younger selves with a nostalgic eye...but if we have enough evidence we see our real selves and then understand much better who we are in the present.

Dawn said...

What a wonderful gift you have, in the contents of that old box filled with memories. I threw away most of my old journals, in embarrassment, at one point. I could learn a lesson from you, and show more compassion towards my old self.

slommler said...

I don't know what happened to all my "things"??? But it is all long gone now! How fabulous you still have those things! Well written!!
Congrats on your POTW award

Anonymous said...

Growing up is so hard to do. I remember feeling so gawky, unloved and different than everyone else. It took decades for me to finally know who I am.

Great post and congrats on being a POTW.


Out on the prairie said...

It is nice to have shared your reflection. I can't believe those boys haven't penned a poem for you yet.

CherylK said...

What a sweet post this is. Taking a trip down memory lane isn't always comfortable but realizing how far we've come is huge.

It's evident why Hilary chose it to be one of her Posts of the Week.

dianna said...

I have that box. I cry for that girl. Seems so silly to me that those things upset me now. I guess it's because I realize how fragile and impressionable we are at that age.
I lug that box around for the same I can remember and *be there* with my girls when those times in their lives roll around.
Oh the thought! I know it's right around the corner...

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lime said...

and your kids will benefit greatly from you being able to remember when...

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson