I don’t know yet where my son’s college application essays will lead him. Will they take him as far as my grandmother traveled, writing back to her mother from dozens of places over the years? Will he circle back? Will he signal to me?
Parenthood, I was coming to understand, means forever coming to terms with loss. Every milestone is an aspect of life annihilated, leaving only memories. A first birthday party signals the end of infancy. Years flip by like pages in a baby book. No one warned me about this vampiric side of parenthood.
Later, heated by the sun, the chairs will be scalding, their searing plastic straps potentially a small danger for your kids instead of a respite from the chaos of cannonballs and belly flops and splashing.
I can still picture my mom pacing around our bedroom at night, waiting for the sound of artillery fire to get closer, occasionally daring to inch her petite and slender body high enough to part the blinds and gauge the distance of the explosions in the night sky.