Only just now said good-bye to 23-year-old A., who came walking with me at 6:30 this morning, definitely an unprecedented event. We've had a nice sequence of visits home from our kids lately. A. is an avid photographer, taking classes and experimenting with some fancy cameras she borrows from the photography professors. It was nice to walk around with someone who shares my appreciation for light and angles and dead trees.
One interesting and gratifying aspect of my year-of-sunrise blog project is the enthusiastic support of my four children. All the time, when you're growing up, you really want your parents to be proud of you (actually, I am 49 and I still like my parents to be proud of me, so perhaps it never goes away). But another family dynamic that becomes important in life is the wish to have your children be proud of you as well.
My husband is a wonderful man, loving father, and so much fun. He is also an intensive care physician. Although he generally leaves his work in the workplace and plays down the drama of his profession, it is a job that takes incredible skill, compassion, mental and emotional acuity, perspective and balance. The kids have always been rightly proud to talk about what their dad does for a living.
Over the years, when people have asked them "What does your mom do?" it has been a little bit harder to answer. "She's just a mom," sounds apologetic and vague, but that was the most accurate answer for most of their lives. Since I've been working on a full length book about a Maine writer, they have been able to say, "She's writing a book," which sounds somehow more interesting, even if turns out to be a decade long project. Now, they tell me, they like to tell people that their mom has a blog.
There was a time when much of what I said, did, or wore caused eye-rolling or furtive glances in every direction, hoping no one was looking. How nice when you move beyond the years of being an embarrassment into a time when you might actually be kind of cool.