Butterflies

 

walk

Where has the time gone?

In a matter of days, my daughter will be starting kindergarten – a.k.a. the beginning of her (hopefully) bountiful scholastic life. 

This is huge.  I normally read into most things too much so you can imagine how much I’m reading into this moment in her life. 

There’s been a lot of articles surfacing on social media around how mothers are dealing with their children beginning kindergarten and how they are emotionally connecting to this stepping stone.  Not a lot of write-ups around fathers embarking on this life step with their child.

Well let me tell you – at least this Dad right here is.

As of Tuesday, my baby turns around another corner in her life and becomes a little more independent.  Tuesday marks the beginning of how her mind will be molded regarding learning new subjects, interacting with new situations and people, and gaining a larger sense of herself.  See, I told you I read into things!

She’s growing up.  I’m watching my kid grow up in new ways.  

This is a list of things that are floating through my mind:

1) Will she be a nice person to others, and respect differences?

2) Will she be teased by others for all of the things that I hold so dear about her or heralded for them?

3) Will she develop a tough skin to stay true to herself?

4) Will she like school in general?

5) Will she keep the old friends that she’s made that are coming to the same school, or will they fall out of friendship?

6) What new parts of herself will she discover?

7) What new interests will she develop?

8) Will she cave to peer pressure or rise above it?

Now I know a lot of these questions go beyond what kindergarten will be, and I know that I can’t protect her from the world and that she has to live her truth.  But it’s with this first step into this portal, this first step into the beginning of her elementary school life that really begins her big journey into who she is.

I still remember the first time we dropped her off at daycare when she was a 1 year old – that first day when I carried her in my arms, and handed her to the caregiver.   I remember how she reached out to me, wanting to come back to me but I blew her a kiss and waved goodbye.  I remember how I wept walking back to the car and driving to work.  That was the first step in letting her go just a little bit, I thought to myself.

And of course that first day turned into a second day and so on, and it all got better….

Where did the time go?

Am I scared? A little, but I’ll get over it.  Will I be a wreck next week?  That’s not entirely clear.

I’d like to think that I won’t but you never know with matters of the heart, I guess.

So, as we creep on closer to Tuesday I take comfort in the many positive stories I’ve heard or read from parents who have been down this path and then some.  This experience, while I may be making it bigger than it is, is not an isolated one but one travelled by many.  

I know that a part of me is going to miss the years of her “baby life”.  But, I hope she knows that I’ll be holding her hand just as tight as she will on that first day and the other days that follow…

spaghetti shot 

a different life

Out of the blue today, my friend Michele in Toronto messaged me telling me she had found something that she wanted to show me. About a minute later I got an email with an attachment from her – I opened it and this is what was there:

photo (23)

Close: Words Without Music.  This is a teeny tiny collection of poems I had put together, bound and then sold to people in order to raise funding for my play that I was going to put on at the Montreal Fringe Festival in 2001.  The collection of poems was sold to people beginning in November of 2000.  When I opened the email attachment, I was stunned.  I am sure that I had kept a copy of this for myself, but time has made it fall through the black hole.  So, I really haven’t looked at this thing in about 14 years.

I printed it out and read each of the poems.  There were 8 of them, chosen from a collection of hundreds and hundreds (I used to write poems every second that I could get a pen, paper, monitor or keyboard).  I read each one of these things: filled with unrequited love, angst, extreme introspection and naivete.

I was between the ages of 24 years old when I wrote these poems – a life barely lived.  I read each of these and I found myself thinking the following:

1) This was a lifetime ago – a completely different moment in time.  If I had a coffee-house to my disposal, I would have read these suckers in that environment and commiserated with my peers.

2) I couldn’t remember the inspiration for a few of them anymore –  clearly it was an intense time of repression, of emotional baggery, of feeling like I was held back.  I don’t know who that person is anymore so I find myself struggling to remember.

3) The Fall of 2000 (this I do remember!) was probably the most creative time of my life: I was working in film, I was writing, I had decided to put a show on in the Fringe, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who were all feeling this pulse that our lives were just beginning and anything was possible.  It was such an innocent time free of cell phones and documenting moments at every moment – it was just being in the moment.

4) When I was reading these poems, despite the time in my life of being creatively overflowing, it reminds me of how lonely I actually was.  Of how a lot of these projects filled the many voids that I had in my soul.  Luckily, those holes these days are quite filled up and it’s not something I think about on a daily basis.  But back then, there was a lot going on and writing was my outlet to explore that and to release it. Writing still remains my outlet – that hasn’t changed.

5) This was kind of a quasi-entrepreneurial thing for a kid of that age to do.  When I think about it, I think it was my first lesson in realizing that if I really wanted something to happen, I would have to work for it because it wasn’t going to fall into my lap. It’s a work ethic that I still carry with me today.  I’m glad that I learned those things early because it makes for a more passionate focus on the things that you love.

It really was a long time ago – but maybe not so long ago at the same time.