Monday, August 24, 2009

She's All Growed Up

So as I was goofing off at work and messing around on the internet (whoops), I happened to notice my sister-in-law's facebook status. "Senior shirts are in!!"
My mouth dropped open and I stared at the screen. SENIOR shirts!?!?? How did my Emmo get to be a Senior in High School??

I knew she had been growing up. I mean, I've known her since she was four years old, and obviously I've noticed. She drives to school, works as a lifeguard, and I've noticed that lately she looks a lot more like Keira Knightly than Dakota Fanning. I know I have very distinctive memories of her being a freshman, sophomore, and junior. For some reason though, that's where it ends in my mind.

This has happened before. After high school, I called my sister a freshmen, as well as her classmates, about until the day she graduated. I remember staring in shock as all those "freshmen" walked across the stage, grabbing diplomas with glee.

I guess, in a way, keeping time stagnate is a defense mechanism. Emily staying a Junior is comforting for me and for her. Juniors have all the fun of the upperclassmen, but none of the stress of applying for colleges and preparing for graduation. Plus, I am safe in the knowledge that I still have a while before she leaves and grows up for real. However, time doesn't work that way, and Emmo is already loving being a senior, and I know she's going to experience all the crazy/awesome times that will come with it.

And because my whiney old lady butt can't stop you from growing up, I wish you good luck and many fun times, Emmo.

I love you. :-)

I searched for a good poem to describe time and growing up and stuff, but I couldn't find anything that really fit other than this. And although I'm not a father (obviously), I identify with that role here. It's a lovely poem, so enjoy! :-)


Neil Gaiman

We owe it to each other to tell stories,

as people simply, not as father and daughter.

I tell it to you for the hundredth time:

"There was a little girl, called Goldilocks,

for her hair was long and golden,

and she was walking in the Wood and she saw — "

"— cows." You say it with certainty,

remembering the strayed heifers we saw in the woods

behind the house, last month.

"Well, yes, perhaps she saw cows,

but also she saw a house."

"— a great big house," you tell me.

"No, a little house, all painted, neat and tidy."

"A great big house."

You have the conviction of all two-year-olds.

I wish I had such certitude.

"Ah. Yes. A great big house.

And she went in . . ."

I remember, as I tell it, that the locks

Of Southey's heroine had silvered with age.

The Old Woman and the Three Bears . . .

Perhaps they had been golden once, when she was a child.

And now, we are already up to the porridge,

"And it was too— "

"— hot!"

"And it was too— "

— cold!"

And then it was, we chorus, "just right."

The porridge is eaten, the baby's chair is shattered,

Goldilocks goes upstairs, examines beds, and sleeps,


But then the bears return.

Remembering Southey still, I do the voices:

Father Bear's gruff boom scares you, and you delight in it.

When I was a small child and heard the tale,

if I was anyone I was Baby Bear,

my porridge eaten, and my chair destroyed,

my bed inhabited by some strange girl.

You giggle when I do the baby's wail,

"Someone's been eating my prridge, and they've eaten it —"

"All up," you say. A response it is,

Or an amen.

The bears go upstairs hesitantly,

their house now feels desecrated. They realize

what locks are for. They reach the bedroom.

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed."

And here I hesitate, echoes of old jokes,

soft-core cartoons, crude headlines, in my head.

One day your mouth will curl at that line.

A loss of interest, later, innocence.

Innocence; as if it were a commodity.

"And if I could," my father wrote to me,

huge as a bear himself, when I was younger,

"I would dower you with experience, without experience."

and I, in my turn, would pass that on to you.

But we make our own mistakes. We sleep


It is our right. It is our madness and our glory.

The repetition echoes down the years.

When your children grow; when your dark locks begin to silver,

when you are an old woman, alone with your three bears,

what will you see? What stories will you tell?

"And then Goldilicks jumped out of the window and she ran —

Together, now: "All the way home."

And then you say, "Again. Again. Again."

We owe it to each other to tell stories.

These days my sympathy's with Father Bear.

Before I leave my house I lock the door,

and check each bed and chair on my return.




No comments: