Monday Morning Musings
It was a weekend of memories and dreams, of laughter and tears, of toasts and roasts, and of introductions and farewells. It was a weekend of closing well-used doors and opening new ones, of hugging and kissing family and friends, of unwrapping gifts, and of feeling thankful.
Part 1—Retirement Celebration
Remember thirty-seven years ago when we drove miles and miles—
(Are we there yet?)
to a new high school set in a field
and surrounded by farmland
and nothing else?
It seemed like the middle of nowhere,
and it kind of was,
it kind of still is.
“This is where I’m teaching,”
And that is where you stayed,
your home away from home.
I heard you lauded—
There were tales of you “borrowing”
the grade books of other teachers–
right before an administrator came for an observation.
In retaliation, some teachers pooled their funds
and had your car towed from the high school lot—
as you watched.
Teaching requires creativity.
You will be missed,
but our daughter now teaches in the same district.
She will not take other’s grade books—even if they still existed—
(everything is electronic now)
But she has already made her mark with her Hello Kitty socks—
and daily dance parties in her classroom.
Teaching is hard work, but it can also be fun.
Our daughter will continue the tradition of educating
of helping them to think and learn.
Now it is time for you, my husband, to do new things.
Part 2—The Bridal Shower
Picking up my mom and her cousin,
we traveled to Manayunk,
the Lenape word for “river,”
or “place to drink.”
Or so I’m told.
It is a former industrial area, just northwest
But now there are many trendy restaurants,
and we went to one.
Set on the canal.
Getting my mom down the steps,
and into the event space
took some time,
but it was worth the effort.
Last summer at another restaurant
younger daughter hosted a shower for her sister.
This year their roles are switched.
Sister gestures and sister speak
I gaze at them with love,
awed that they are mine.
We will not cry.
Maybe a little.
The guests swirl around,
the young ones like freshly-picked flowers.
We older women, more like—
Not going there.
The young women like young wines,
delightful and full of promise.
We older ones,
robust, but still velvety—
elegant, but still playful,
We have aged well.
Perhaps a bit more.
Must try some dessert–
The young ones will
continue to celebrate
late into the nights.
Cousin Sali amusing
on the ride home—
“Your mother was the good girl.”
‘Why can’t you be like Sylvia?’”
She said the aunts told her.
There were many aunts.
“They pointed out my faults
so they could improve me.”
“But your mother was always kind to me
she always let me tag along–
even though she’s older.”
Part 3—Baby Shower
Two days of seeing some special friends!
For the past few years
we’ve been attending the showers and weddings
of our children.
Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were having baby showers for
Remember the one at the lake?
And remember when Pat punched a hole
in the wall?
Baby Big Hair.
Baby No Hair.
Now our babies are having babies.
Irene bravely driving,
“Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,”
We don’t have to look for America.
We’ve found it
in our daily lives
and with our family and friends.
and dreams of moments
still to come.