Tag: growing up

Longing

Posted on January 30, 2014 by

Donner Lake morning

The moment was gone

that instant when I knew it would all change for the time being,

the moment when my insides shifted from content

to chaotic.

The anxiousness of separation

and the knowing that really,

everything was fine.

It’s instinctual, I tell myself.

That yearning to know what you’re doing

where you are

if you’re warm and safe and happy.

An instant of joy when you remember

and then

I wait, and wonder

Longing

 

January prompt-a-day from write alm – today’s prompt is longing

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Dia De Los Muertos Memories

Posted on November 1, 2013 by

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

― Thomas Campbell

Frida Kahlo, "My Grandparents, My Parents and I"

Frida Kahlo, “My Grandparents, My Parents and I”

“We all have an inner voice, our personal whisper from the universe. All we have to do is listen — feel and sense it with an open heart. Sometimes it whispers of intuition or precognition. Other times, it whispers an awareness, a remembrance from another plane. Dare to listen. Dare to hear with your heart.”

― C.J. Heck, Bits and Pieces: Short Stories from a Writer’s Soul

Charlotte Bronte

“I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes”

― Vladimir Nabokov

“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,

Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.”

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

Frida Kahlo self portrait

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it.

Memories need to be shared.”

― Lois Lowry, The Giver

Do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos? How do you share your memories?

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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What You Grow To Be

Posted on August 16, 2013 by

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

~J.K. Rowling

20130816-195436.jpg

Visiting the track at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.

Sitting in my garden tonight, watching the sun set, with my dog on my lap. An evening of reflection and gratitude after 1,800 miles driven over six days, visiting colleges from Ashland, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington. I’m so thankful we were able to spend this time together, just us two. From the day she was born, I’ve watched over her as she attempted all her ‘firsts’, soaring through life with grace. This time, I’m watching differently.

This time, I observed my first born take it all in, her blue eyes scanning the campuses for reflections of herself, searching for that connection that would whisper to her, Yes, you belong here. This is where you will grow.

As the sun sets on her high school career, another life-episode calls to her, nudging her closer to the woman she is destined to be and farther from where she was born. I can see it in her eyes- the twinkle of slight recognition as she returns home tonight just a little different than when she left. She is no longer the child she was days ago-now,she is reaching for the light when before, just as she reached out, she shivered.

It doesn’t matter what she was born to be…she is creating, choosing, forming herself every day. The decision is hers. This time, right now, I’ll sit back, support her, nurture her, and marvel as she grows and blooms into something spectacular.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Cusp of Change: Those We Love Most

Posted on June 5, 2013 by

cusp

“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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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Pandora’s Box: Preserving Her Scraps of Childhood

Posted on April 15, 2013 by

When she was little-not more than two- she was obsessed with a silky yellow and black polka dot swimsuit. It wasn’t a bikini- I shied away from the ‘Toddlers and Tiaras‘ set-instead, it was an adorable one piece tank style suit with an simple little ruffle that covered her rump.

Lily and RoseLike many little girls, she wore and wore that suit until it climbed up too high and I had to convince her that it fit better on her stuffed bear, Rosie. Carefully I placed Rosie’s long, spindly legs and arms through the swimsuit and tied a knot just below her neckline to keep it secure.  She was happy with the arrangement, and snuggled Rosie gently every night as she fell asleep.

Now, fourteen years later and several sizes larger, that memory surfaced as I was hanging up her lime green American Eagle string bikini after a night of hot tubbing with her friends. I’ve given up the battle over skin bearing suits, and trust her sense of modesty and self-confidence. Gone are the silver sparkle sneakers, the bows and headbands, and all the other innocent childhood fashions that kept her young forever.

Where has it gone?

I remember thinking that I could never survive the end of her childhood, sure that each subsequent stage couldn’t possible replace the absolute beauty of the one before. Gently I filled my pine wedding box with scraps of artwork, certificates and letters written in her childish hand. I tucked away unused diapers, baby socks and her favorite pair of red overalls, just to justify that she really was once that small. Photos, videos and journals fill boxes in my armoire as testaments to each moment, each step towards the moment I’m fearing the most right now: the one when she leaves.

She herself is hardly the sentimental type. Left to her, the memories would stay locked up inside, no tangible proof of the time she moved up from guppy to turtle in swimming lessons, or the little Colombian clothespin doll she created in honor of her great-grandmother’s heritage. Birthday cards, tied with ribbon, and letters that she wrote to ‘Jen’ professing her love mingle with newspaper clippings from gymnastic meets and ski races.

I can hardly bear to open the box right now. In fact, I can hardly write about it with my eyes tearing up with an overwhelming sense of absolute and overpowering love, tinged with a touch of sadness.

But I won’t let myself go there right now. Twelve months from now, when decisions are made, deposits placed, and the calendar ticks down to the remaining summer at home-maybe then I’ll crack it open and begin the process of unwrapping the last 18 years we’ve spent together.

Is this the way childhood is supposed to end? Bits and pieces of memories, tied together with love and tears, helping me to hold onto motherhood as I watch her grow up and away?

Is this how the Universe eases my grief? Squirreling away scraps and fragments of times joyous in the moment, melancholy in the past?

I’m fairly certain she has no idea the lengths I’ve gone to in keeping these moments alive and untouchable. But the one memory I don’t hold onto is Rosie. She was never willing to give her up, and although long removed from  under her covers, she resides somewhere close to her heart.

Maybe the time will come, twelve-or-so months from now, when she will reappear, and give me something to cling to, something to ease my grief, something to symbolize the love we created in her childhood. Until then, I’ll continue preserving her scraps of childhood, bit by bit.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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