Friday, March 20, 2015

kiwi woreure

Kiwi Woreure (warrior), by Elliott, drawn during school drop off time

I am so sorry.  I ruined it, yes I did.  I did indeed forget to bring the beautiful drawing that you, Elliott, made for me during school drop off time, in from the car when I got home that day.  And so, it was sitting on the passenger seat, what used to be a very safe place to leave things, until Nicholas, who got so huge and now rides in the front seat next to me, opened the door.  And it is mud season here in Maine and everything is muddy and wet, or trickily icy and crackly again as it was today.  And so, when Nicholas, your five-years-older brother, the best model for me of where you are headed in growth and size and appearance and mind, opened the passenger door, the frigid wind blew in.  He immediately began telling me about running in the neighborhood around school for Lacrosse practice and I think he might have even started talking before the door was open, he was so excited and physically-exhausted-happy.  Somewhere in that noise, your paper must have blown onto the floor of the car.  And I noticed Nicholas did not have a hat on and his enormously long legs were bare and his feet swung fast and sloppily into the car.  And landed on your picture.  And it was not drawn with permanent markers.

I was reminded.  Of just how soon I will no longer receive piles of art work to bring home from school with me each morning after I give you a kiss goodbye.  And that there will be no more public kisses.  Just waves and sometimes, if I have hit a snarky witticism just right, or I artfully land a warm and just right loving comment that fills us both back up with the history of sweet moments and gifts between us - which is rarely - I will receive eye contact and a smile as you pull your own sports duffle bag and Lacrosse stick out of the back of the car and disappear into school without me.

I will no longer be able to quantify just how good a weekend it was for you by the volume of pieces of paper filled with your doodles about the house on Monday morning.  Which have all of your beginning attempts to be funny, though creatively spelled.

You are right.  I should have taken better care of your art, of your gift to me. And I agree.  I am not sure you are going to ever be able to reproduce that kiwi warrior.

So today I did.  I brought home the seven characters you created for me while we sat at the table, other children arriving around us.  Drawn while we were sitting close and chatting, but also during the moments when I was quiet and pulled away from you a bit physically, stepped back and perused the books, when a friend came along and wanted to chat with you.  Because that is the work of drop off time, too.  For you, of disconnecting from me and connecting to them.  

I spread your characters out on the table.  And saw that you are reworking that kiwi warrior.  Trying to recreate what you thought maybe you were only going to get right just that once, the one picture that got ruined.

And as I spread out your pictures, I found another picture, of a mother kiwi, and her baby in a nest below ground.  And I think maybe you have forgiven me for ruining that other picture.  This drawing I am going to be sure to protect and save, because I know the ink is not permanent, and that, with time moving so fast, it is five very full and short years until our goodbyes are quite different.  Still loving and connected and doing my best version of the dance of trying to get it just right as I send you off each day into the world.  It is possible you are not ever going to be able to make this picture, the one I just found tucked in the bottom of the stack, again, or that you won't want to.  Because we will be off in our next phase together, trying to learn how to tell each other jokes and tell each other we love each other in different ways, and at only the just right moments.  And it won't be so much about the mommy birds and their nests anymore.  It will be different kind of time, when the mother puts on her armor and becomes more of a warrior.

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