Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The view toward south buoy just a mere few days ago...
My older son headed off to his junior year of high school this morning.

You heard me.


Seriously. Vastly. Unfathomable.

I know, I use that word a lot. But, I mean it. There are things in this world I just can't wrap my brain around. And one of them is how quickly my life with my children is passing.

I want to slow it down, but there are things you can't hold onto.

Well, really, there is nothing you can hold on to.

According to Mirriam-Webster, a fathom is a unit of measure used especially to determine the depth of water. Maybe that's what I'm doing there -- in the water -- all the time. I'm trying to grasp hold of a concept I won't ever be able to hold onto.

It was "just the other day" we came home with him. A little bundle of brilliance in a blue and pink striped cap. He was uncharted territory. He was trouble. He was bliss. He's been heartache. He's been a lesson in strength and patience, and bottomless, chest-busting love. But, honestly, it's all just a blur.

This is him. My bigger blur.
And now he's off to his junior year of high school. I already know it's going to fly. I'm already trying to slow it down by sheer will and the rhythm of my own fleeting breath.

There will be SAT's and driving permits. Maybe there will even be girls. Certainly, there will be more heartache and more love. And all of it will be unfathomable.

So, I'm off in my bathingsuit and towel, where else, but to swim.

Fall means less open water and more chlorine, less wide expanse and more treading.

But there I'll go anyway, in my endless effort to wade in and grasp

what I never can.


- gae


  1. Mothers everywhere are feeling your unfathomable angst. Beautiful post, Gae.

  2. Thanks for reading, and for "getting it," Angelina. <3

  3. My little one is heading to Kindergarten next week. I can't imagine what I'll be like when she's ready for High School!
    Your son is lucky to have you as a Mom. It might not get easier but everyday of life is better then the last :)

  4. ah, Kindergarten. The lunchboxes and the bus photo! Good luck to her and to you! Enjoy every moment. Well, as many as you can. <3

  5. Ugh, yes. A sophomore and 8th grader for me. Both in high school next year. At least one will be driving by then. *cheers, waves pom poms in the air and does a kick for good measure*

  6. I'm on deadline today so thanks for writing this up for me Gae...:)It's going to prove a real time saver for me as I spend most of every day singing..or would that be wailing... this very tune...though not nearly as eloquently. Best of luck to the boy in his junior year. Time will do what it does, which is to say evaporate, but to have had the gift of these precious, fleeting passages offers at least some comfort.

  7. 10th grade, 7th grade, and unfathomable-ist of all, my oldest who as I write this, is still sleeping, having already graduated and gearing up for THREE months (yes, months--that's 87 days) in England starting next week. I have vivid memories of maternal fear of this very day from the time he was starting kindergarten. I had no idea then how I'd be able to let go.....and I still don't know how. But somehow, we do it anyway. we wade into the depths and fathoms in spite of our inability to grasp the concept of how we got here in the first place. we find ourselves in over our heads, trying to breathe through water as we watch them swim away. unfathomable. and it's paragraphs like the one I'm quoting, that make your writing so emotionally stunning, Gae......
    "According to Mirriam-Webster, a fathom is a unit of measure used especially to determine the depth of water. Maybe that's what I'm doing there -- in the water -- all the time. I'm trying to grasp hold of a concept I won't ever be able to hold onto."

  8. "......having already graduated and gearing up for three months in england starting next week......" that's proper english, right? :)

  9. Annette, so appreciate your constant appreciation.

    Lori, back at you, on so many levels. And, English sminglish.

    Megan, nice kick there. *rubs hamstring in commiseration.*

  10. I'm in shock just from my oldest starting Junior high, I'm sure in two more years when she hits high school it will be an even bigger shock. Where did the time go?

  11. Very sweet, beautifully written. It is a bittersweet time for mothers as we know that they are slipping away from us toward something neither of us can see, only that we'll have to come up with something different to fill our lives. The good news is that there is more beyond the door.

  12. Thanks for all the feedback. My lovely friend Barb wrote about a similar thing on her blog a few days ago. Her blog is one of my favorites.

    Guess it's in the air. September may really be the cruelest month, then, after all.

  13. Wow, we totally riffed on the same thing, darling! It never occurred to me that you would already be feeling your first twinges of that separation. It is at once awful and beautiful. Whatever. You write brilliantly about it!! Loving you. xoxo Barbara

  14. My firstborn has started his sophomore year. I feel your pain!

    The little one is in 3rd grade, and I've decided to catch both performances of his class play. Those moments will be gone far, far too soon.

  15. I hope you enjoyed the play, Lisa! Thanks for reading. Hugs.

  16. Gorgeous Gae. The going off to swim floored me. We are all dealing with one degree or another of this right now. Sending you love and strength.