Wednesday, June 05, 2013

On Turning Ten

"Mom, I'm kind of sad because it feels like being nine just went too fast." -Jake, age 9 11/12

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.
 -Billy Collins
I'm sad too, my boy. I will do my best to help you see the joys of growing. Please help me remember the thrill of being a child. 

1 comment:

Coraly said...

oh Jodi, my heart hurts quite a bit at the thought of my girl turning ten in what will be a few short weeks. Childhood is fleeting and I want to savor every moment of their littleness..