Spring Break. Masked in all the leisure and freedom of this sunny two-week span of devil-may-care frivolity is the specter of Loss. The boys know it; they’ve pushed it aside to deal with later. I can see it cross their minds sometimes. Then they’ll shake it off and refocus on the here and now. Right now, they are enjoying every moment of the break. You’ll find them out on the trampoline, over at the park, hanging with friends…But, Jaden and Dillon have an awareness that when the sun sets on that final day of vacation and they lay their heads down to rest they will awaken to a new reality. Things will be different. Mrs. Robbins will be gone.
I can remember moments in my childhood when I was doing some bizarre thing or another and I would happen to catch my parents watching me. They wouldn’t say anything; maybe chuckle or smile. I’d ask “what?” but they’d never reply. They would just have that look. I now understand that thoughtful gaze. I look at my boys the same way sometimes and I just think, “Wow… What lies ahead?” I wonder what paths they will choose…who they will become… what kind of lives they will lead… but most often, I wonder what fire will burn deep inside of them. What will be the thing that drives them? What will be their great passions in life?… Will they pursue them?
Dillon resigned as my illustrator the other day. He said he was retiring, getting out of the game… or something like that. He’d gone through about 5 pages of illustrations, and the mood suddenly left him. He was tired of carrying the weight of the team…now I’ll have to farm it out somehow. It’s a shame, because they were good pictures too… he translated the activities in the story perfectly and caught the main focus in each section with his renderings. Where am I going to find another illustrator that can bring my words to life like he did? and one who will work for snickerdoodles and pez? Dang child labor laws. Alas, another talent burnt out at an early age.
Ethan knows right from wrong. It has been an interesting few days watching the battle of good vs. evil wage within the mind of this two year old boy. I’ve tried to stay on the sidelines and not interfere too much with his sorting process, but let’s face it… I’ve got a vested interest in seeing this thing turn out the right way. So, I nudge and prod and influence as I can. Enough to guide him, but not so much that he doesn’t feel like the conclusions he is drawing are his own. Manipulation? No way! I like to think of it as actively facilitating the learning process (Okay, I did play the Santa card one time, but it isn’t like you think).
One of Kendra’s favorite movies is the Shawshank Redemption. It is a great story… well written and laid out, and the fraternal themes within the film make it all the more compelling to me. There are several memorable lines from that movie, but one in particular comes to mind when I find myself caught up in the frantic pace of things. The character Brooks made an observation in a letter to his friends at Shawshank that “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” His period of reference was Maine, in the 1940’s. If Brooks thought the string of automobiles up and down main street signified haste, he would surely agree that the speed of life has increased exponentially since then. Better technology brought quicker and easier access to information and people. Transcontinental and international travel is rapid and readily available to the general public. One can accomplish more in a day and from multiple locations than ever before. Since more can be done in less time, more must be done to fill the time. We continue to push the envelope. The quality and speed of information and access has increased. But as we hurry along to the beat of the world, I am not sure quality of life necessarily has. READ MORE »