Start and stops, beginnings and endings. We think about them a lot this time of year; as children complete another year of school. Some move up, and some move on, forever.
Skylar is finishing her eighth grade year next week, and the moment she does, she’ll begin her journey as a high school freshman; literally the next day. She’s enrolled in summer school courses to get the jump on her high school classes and start accruing some of those twenty-four credits she’ll need to graduate. She’s only thirteen. I often wonder how, and when we got here.
She has clear-cut ideas, plans, and dreams for her future. She intends to begin collage courses her junior year of high school. I’m proud to see her taking the necessary steps to begin accomplishing her goals. And of course, in the midst of it all, I can’t help but ruminate on the effervescence that was Miss Elliott’s short life with us.
Who would she be today? What would she look like, sound like, whose mannerisms would she have? I’ll never know. And it hurts too much to attempt to imagine.
In many ways these passing’s of time remind me how I’m still haunted by the words I spoke to Skylar one early fall afternoon; October 2nd, 2008 to be exact. Buckling her into her car seat to set out for a day of fun, just the two of us in downtown Seattle. She had just turned four years old. The next day I was to be induced and Miss Elliott would be born. I can still clearly see and hear myself saying to her,
“This is the last day it will ever be just you and me”
How wrong I was. How utterly, unknowingly, unfathomably wrong I was. Back when I saw the world in nothing but Kodachrome. It wasn’t so for me; not that what has been was any less magical or beautiful in its own way, just also heavier and more solemn than I would have expected. For Skylar, I hope, as all mothers do, that she has many, many years of nice bright futures ahead of her. I hope her world never stops glowing in the brilliance of adventure and possibility. Mama will never be the one to take her Kodachrome away.
Give us those nice bright colors
Give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day