I’m in the thick of the middle. Lots of going and doing and constant adjustment and readjustment of schedules, expectations, and plans; learning as I go, shooting for great, accepting whatever keeps it all afloat. I’m often caught up, nay swept away by the riptides of family-keeping. And then, there are moments like I received tonight. In between the rush and the next readjustment, lies the lull and the swell; I catch the uplifting crest to complete presence of mind, heart, and soul. There I am delivered unto the pure joy of experiencing my tallest boy performing the miracle of music-making in concert with his peers. Perfect imperfection shines through these glistening faces, mid-way into their adolescent thrashing, we are joined together across the great sea between our generations.
I too performed on this same stage, once upon another lifetime. I see his father in his posture…the tilt of his head. He plays the violin his grandfather bought for me the year before he was born. I was going to learn to play, but my pinky finger found other work. I sink as I long for a timeline that allows those men to see this boy play that instrument. If Handel’s composition can reach through time, surely my boy’s bow on string reaches far enough to heaven to be heard by those who made his heartbeat possible.
The whole of it enfolds us. I press away the tears and lean into my sister and whisper, “I love that boy so much!”
She returns, “I can’t believe how tall he is!”
And just like that, the rush, the readjustment, the going and doing retake my pace. I tumble forward. My tears retreat; I survive to ride another wave.
These are the thrills that make every wipe-out worth it.
Image: Henry readying his violin
Laura J Delfino is the mother’s hip at the mothership of Yes & Also Productions, where she employs her scattered mind and focused heart to a myriad of unpaid, yet valuable activities, including motherhood and artmaking.