Sunday, October 24, 2010

hope for the past

Last night at Will and Andrew's joint birthday party at cub run rec center (where Andrew wants to have all his future parties!), I was struck by my typical wholly unoriginal insights that nontheless feel quite profound. I was watching my two sweet boys blowing out the candles on their cake (Will was more adept at this than Andrew) when it landed on me out of the sky that these kids were mine--my blessing, my responsibility, people who had been entrusted, 100%, to me to raise. They aren't just these people I live with and love. It is a feeling most parents probably wake up in the morning with, but somehow something about the sight of them, no longer babies but ever-changing people of their own who rely upon me to throw them parties or to not do so, brought home to me how awesome and overwhelming the parental duty is.

This morning I woke up to a wonderful poem (thank you, Missy and Garrison Keillor) that tied all my feelings from last night so well together with my Sabbath thoughts (yes, I do have them).

Thanks, Robert Frost

Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.

We leave tomorrow, Porter, Will, Aunt Abby and I, that is, for Charlottesville, a place that once I couldn't bear to think about because of all my regrets associated with deciding not to attend law school there, after all. Now I hope I will associate it as the place where Will's feeding problems met the begining of their end. I am optimistic that our two weeks at Kluge's Children's Rehab center will be a turning point in Will's life.

Last night at their party, we lost track of Andrew, something that can be a bit alarming at a pool. We spotted him moments later, drifting through the lazy river with two of his friends and no parents. That was a bittersweet moment, but far more sweet than sad. The on

1 comment:

Tat said...

I don't know when you actually wrote this, but reading it now made me think of a line from "Into the Woods" (have you seen it?) - "People make mistakes - fathers, mothers - people make mistakes, holding to their own, thinking they're alone. Honor their mistakes, everybody makes, one another's terrible mistakes." I can only hope my kids honor my mistakes one day.