“Her life now hovered on the cusp of change…at this precise intersection in time, contemplating both distant memories and the uncertainty of the future, she knew she was standing on the lip between past and future. she had not yet taken a step forward into her new unwritten life.”
– Lee Woodruff, Those We Love Most
She stands on the cusp of womanhood, her body and mind blossoming in unison. Only seventeen, the future spills before her with temptation. Choices abound, crashing through her day as she contemplates which class to take, which test to cram for and scrolls through glossy promises of college after college, holding her future in their hands. On her bedroom floor, littered with hastily scribbled to-do lists, fading birthday streamers and balloons nearly deflated, neat piles of laundry await, compromises about what to carry away to six weeks of summer ski camp in one not-so-gigantic bag. I can still see her childhood smiling back at me as she packs.
He bounds into the room, red faced and sweaty, backpack full of treasures discovered in a neighbors’ ‘free’ pile down the street. Deserted childhood bowling trophies, a half-filled helium tank, a roll of unopened masking tape and someone’s discarded Sacramento Rivercats handkerchief now strewn across the baby blue carpet of his bedroom. He is thirteen, teetering between that round-faced little boy I toted on my hip and that suave seventh-grader gently holding hands with his girl after school. He towers above me now. It’s his time to sample life, taking n taste after taste of all the world has before him. One class after another, new sports, new friends. A decision about a ski academy, the move-in date etched in our minds. Moving away before I’m ready. I grin as he gulps down his favorite dinner, and push myself back into his childhood.
I’m riding the line, straddling the fast lane. Since when did the teeter-totter weigh less on my end? Motherhood, once so physically exhausting, has now shifted its pressure. My mind tethers me to the past and drags me into the future. I write, I teach, I parent, I love, forever remembering who I am first and wondering how long that will last. We push ourselves to travel, to meet new people and speak their language. I strain for their hands, hoping to catch a finger before they soar off in another direction.
We hover on the cusp of change, dipping our toes into the unknown waters and in that precise moment, contemplate our next step. We ride the ebb and flow of life, sometimes skittering to the safety of shore, occasionally squeezing our eyes shut and diving into the wave. The future lies before us like a foggy horizon, and we, cautiously, carefully, often blindly, scan the horizon, searching for the lighthouse.
This post was inspired by the novel Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. Every family has its secrets and deceptions, but they come to surface a tragic accident changes the family dynamic forever.. Join From Left to Write on June 6 as we discuss Those We Love Most. You can also enter to win a live video chat with Lee Woodruff! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Use this link to enter to win a live video chat with author Lee Woodruff.
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My Inner ChickJune 12, 2013
**The future lies before us like a foggy horizon, and we, cautiously, carefully, often blindly, scan the horizon, searching for the lighthouse. **
FaAaaaabulous Line. xxReply
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Jennifer WolfeJune 13, 2013
Kim, thank you. I must say that I fall into the ‘often blindly’ part of that quote more than I’d like to admit! Thanks for stopping by – Jennifer
NancyJune 7, 2013
Your sentiments are beautifully expressed here. My kiddos are still young and it’s hard to imagine how I’ll feel when they start off into the world on their own, though I’ll get a little taste when I put my oldest on the bus for the first time this Fall for Kindergarten.Reply
Nancy recently posted…Those We Love Most.
EmilyJune 6, 2013
Oh my. The image of motherhood as a teeter-totter getting lighter on one side is going to stay with me. You really captured something here.Reply
Emily recently posted…Those We Love Most
Jennifer WolfeJune 7, 2013
Hi Emily, it’s amazing to me how the weight shifts…my heart feels heavy when I think about transitioning into these next phases of motherhood. I keep reminding myself of all the joys that are to come, just as each new phase of their childhood brought new adventures. There’s just something about not having them within arm’s reach all the time that makes me wistful, though. Thanks so much for commenting today. -Jennifer
Book Club Day: Those We Love Most + Win Video Chat with Lee Woodruff!June 5, 2013
[…] Jennifer Wolfe from mamawolfe considers the teeter-totter of motherhood, balancing on the cusp of change. […]Reply
Janaki KuruppuJune 5, 2013
Nice imagery in your post! Having my oldest child on the verge of getting married, and two kids who are in elementary school, I’m reminded daily of the rapid changes that occur as one watches one’s kids grow up, and the agility it takes to keep one’s balance on that path.Reply
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Jennifer WolfeJune 5, 2013
Janaki, agility is such an appropriate word. Motherhood throws so many challenges at us, it can be like running an obstacle course! You certainly must have a unique perspective on parenting right now-I’m going to hop over to your post! Thanks for commenting today – Jennifer
Alicia SJune 5, 2013
Excellent post! I love the way the book inspired you to write about the change all around you. It sounds like you have a beautiful life and I really enjoyed reading your post.Reply
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Jennifer WolfeJune 5, 2013
Hello Alicia, so nice of you to comment today. As a mother I was so struck by the anguish the parents went through…and it made me think so much about how precious every moment is. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! -Jennifer