The majesty and mystery of motherhood. subtitle: Mom, don't read this one. Trust me.
Loose ends

First day

I tend to think everything is different now, but some things do not change. This morning, just as I have on the first day of school for the last ten years, I squeezed a golden drop of honey onto Tre's tongue and murmured, "This is to remind you that learning is sweet."

And just like always, he tipped his head back and accepted the honey. As he rolled it around in his mouth, he smirked.

"All these years you had it wrong, Mom. HONEY is sweet," he said.

My son, the smart ass.

Also, my son, the high school student, sitting there in his uniform, looking impossibly grown up and handsome. I reminded myself that I did not intend to cry on this morning that was so exciting for him, so I nudged his shoulder and told him to get in the car.

As we drove, he wondered what the school lunches would be like, and I thought about why this transition was so hard for me.

The first year we officially homeschooled was when Tre was in Kindergarten. We were doing an on-line program then, and our materials didn't arrive until the first of October. That was the year Tre's biological dad, my ex husband, left. On October 31. Life was a shambles, as though someone had taken the world and shaken it, like a snow globe. I did not know one family could hurt that much and keep breathing.

I remember doing a language arts lesson with Tre one day, in the middle of all of this. I had read him a story, and he was supposed to retell it to me. Stressed out little Tre was a quiet child. I remember him as enormous dark eyes in a pinched face. He desperately wanted to fix everything, for everybody, and it broke him that he couldn't.

But all this silent aching sparked in him an insatiable need to move. Always an active child (a kinesthetic learner, doncha know), he literally could not sit still. He jiggled his foot, rocked back and forth in his chair, slid to the floor, and drummed out a rhythm on the bottom of his chair with his heels. He was like this all the time during that era, silent and sad and ever moving.

That day, as Tre retold me the story, he stood up and climbed on my bed, then onto my foot board, like it was a balance beam. He walked back and forth, back and forth, lost in the story, unaware of what he was doing. I watched him, and I realized that this dutiful, vigilant child would be in trouble every day in a regular classroom. He was learning here, where he could move as much as his anxious heart needed, but at school he would be the problem kid.

In that moment, in my cluttered, dark bedroom, I saw a spark of hope for the future. I didn't know who I was anymore, or where I was going, or why. All of it, why. But I knew what I was going to do. I was going to make our world right for my little boys. For anxious Tre, and furious three-year-old Max, and cherubic four-month-old Raphael, I was going to form a sanctuary.

And I did. They were my life, and I don't even think it was wrong. We got through. The boys are okay.

And of course, the more okay they are, the older and stronger they get, the less they need my sanctuary. This is good, this is right.

It feels a little like getting fired.

I dropped Tre off and drove away, leaving him to figure out the complications of homeroom and lunchroom. I didn't even cry. Much.

I parked across the street and went for a walk in the park there. As I climbed the hill into the park, I saw it laid out before me, lovelier by far than I realized from the other side. There were ponds and trees and long emerald sweeps of grass. And through it all wound wide cement paths. Whatever direction appealed to me, there was a path headed that way. All I had to do was choose where it was I wanted to go.

I stood there, alone, in the clear, early light, and I am proud to tell you that seemed like a very hopeful fact.



Oh, honey. Love you.

Holly Gault

Eh, Kira. You have the gift -- and I can see that you've passed it along to your children, too.


I don't think you got fired -- I think you got promoted! So congratulations, because they seem like such great kids and that's thanks to you.






I have always loved your writing. This, (for whatever reason, not because my son is 19 and a Marine now, no NO NO) more than any other entry, made me cry. And made me wish I could write like that. Beautiful.


He is everything you poured into him...all that belief, hope, trust, prayer, grit, determination: all of you is IN him. He's so lucky... bless you both!


Well??? How was his first week?


Simply beautiful, thank you for sharing Kira.


I love this for so many reasons. Mostly, I suppose, because it shows so clearly how you welcomed the opportunity to get up every morning (albeit around 10am:)) and be your kids' hero. While I'm convinced that's not your point, I still hold a certain reverence and respect for your resolve and ultimately, your triumph. I look forward to reading the post about Tre's tribute to you in his valedictorian address. I needed something to do for the next 4 years anyway.


I am sitting up here in my college dorm room and something makes me to start wondering I wonder how Kira is doing. I venture on here to see these kids that I grew up with, growing up themselves. Craziness!

The comments to this entry are closed.