Time after time …

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s menopause, but the last few days tears have come easily to my eyes whenever I think of what’s gone before and what it to come — especially when it involves my kids.

It’s an unusual situation for me, because I’m not over demonstrative when it comes to emotions. I laugh easily, but the tears … the tears show weakness, and somehow clear the way for people to look deeper into places I prefer to keep guarded. It’s OK for everyone else — just not me.

The big boy is home tonight from college for the first time since learning. It’s all different … but in a wonderful and fulfilling way. He’s doing so well. Learning so much. Experiencing so many things, clothed in confidence and wonder and thankfulness and fearlessness. I can’t even begin to voice my pride in him. My love, my joy … and again, the tears come.

They’re all growing up way too fast. Kara, beginning to think about which college will win her amazing intelligence, gentle beauty, and deep, deep soul. Ethan, with the little girls just beginning to notice him and the pull of boyhood still deeply entrenched in his beautiful smile.

And Aubree. Aubree is ten, going on twenty-one. Thinking, thinking, always thinking … beginning to lose the little girl gullible nature and, sometimes sadly, seeing the world for what it is rather than always what it could be. Still, her beauty and wonderment is an inalienable part of her, and her joy and enthusiasm is like water to my soul.

My friend Joanna tagged me today with a reference to this poem:

On Turning Ten
by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Beautiful (and there are those pesky tears again). And listening to my kids, laughing and enjoying catching up with each other, playing games together and just living, I don’t regret a single year, day, or moment.  And I look forward to “whatever” is next.

I just wish I could do it a little more dry-eyed ….



  1. Lynn Said:

    Oh Gina, Thanks for this opening into your heart. What a beautiful place.

  2. societyvs Said:

    Thats a really great poem!

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