I tell stories about growing up a farm kid in Iowa, being a loyal Arkansas transplant, single parenting, and parenting a teenage boy in all its glory and horrors. I chose “A Growing Season” as a book title several years ago as a metaphor for all the changes happening in my life, that happen in everyone’s life really, and its relationship to the growing seasons of the farm that I used to be so in tune with as a child.
For my son, my family, my friends, and my generation I would like to create a better narrative and archive of our shared history than what I’ve done so far. My poor child. If he were to judge my parenting by his baby book or the chaotic state of all of our pictures, he might decide I wasn’t much of a mother. He knows better, I hope, but I’d like to create a little proof that I work hard at being a mom, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, and professional.
I continue to think life will slow down, that I won’t always be on the run. I continue to be wrong. So very, very wrong. Instead of slowing down, I’ve gone and ramped things up again. I have a bad habit of doing that.
I cannot imagine many people on this planet have had the good fortune to have all four of their grandparents live in such close proximity to them as my brother, sister, and I did. I can’t imagine that any of them had finer people for grandparents, either. The two couples were as different as night and day in many respects, but we loved them all fiercely and their legacies in our family are powerful. (more…)
My family loves water, and we frequented all of the local lakes, ponds, rivers, and swimming pools in our vicinity when I was kid. I was a scaredy cat, though, and I didn’t like diving from the high board and I often looked on as my brother and my friends did the fun stuff. My former in-laws cured me of all that. Because of them I learned to jump from the cliff at Lake of the Ozarks and to do lots of other stuff my mom would have gasped about (I will go ahead and confess here, Mom, that I also climbed the fence at the Shenandoah pool and went swimming many times at night as well as going swimming in the Nishnabotna River off the sand bars even though you warned against it. You were right, by the way.) (more…)