The Grand March

Kenna had awards banquet Wednesday night. She was a nominee for the faculty award, made the president’s academic excellence list, and will graduate in two weeks magna cum laude. After, the kids went home with their mom til the other side of the weekend, and next weekend is Memorial Day and they are going camping with her mom’s family then, too. Prom is tonight and kicks off with a family and friend supported procession called the Grand March and we will be there, tears in eyes and all.

On the first day of June she graduates high school, and then that Sunday heads down to Florida with Tom’s mom and dad for the whole summer. We weren’t thinking of any of these details, any of us, when we took her to Philly last weekend and let her dress her dad and baby sis and I up as Swifties to Taylor-gate in the streets outside of Swift’s big hometown concert. But it struck me in the kitchen Thursday in moments of morning mundane, texting her did she take all of Ella’s new bows to school for wayback day? This young woman-becoming, while all I can see right now is her way-back. She in the stunning slinky rose-pink spaghetti-strap number we found her this year on our day of fun, the way it clung to and moved just right with all her right parts walking across the stage of her awards ceremony, simply vivacious, buoyant. Aglow. Where did she go, the leggy pale elbows tired eyes awkward, who would talk to me for literal hours about fan fic all book-chatty and about to enter her freshman year, just scared she’d have no one to eat with at lunch? The one who my first year of knowing her on our day of fun showing her the ways of thrifting, 17-me alive that day in new ways I hadn’t in years seen, when all she wanted were over-sized old man sweaters and cords? Now she’s got me on to her books, me gushing at her over character twists and traits, her showing only a mere remnant here or there of who she was…more somehow of that girl from the beginning but also not at all. Her living towards now, not ‘was’ but is and excitedly yet to come. Mother’s day came and passed and we spent it celebrating without realizing it Tom’s first born, coming of age. And so I watch these kids that I always said I’d have, three not my own but mine to me. What I always for years before I met them would say that’s how I’ll have kids someday, when I have the land and home to raise them I’ll find some older kids who need a home and now I watch them whole in their hearts go off with their mom, and I watch with pride and some new growing contentedness within for the peace I know they finally have. It tweaks my heart to tears and yet I am not sad.

Jordan Davis makes sense though, dancing and rolling through my head singing how amazing how fast seventeen years go
Next thing you know
… Me staring at Ella joy-wild and grateful til I could burst, perspective for the first time landing since all the whirlwind change came through with Covid that, among other things, made me mom. What treasures that came along unexpectedly with these three kids, like number four. Makes me so wow’d, peace in the grace, anticipating the unexpected still to come not just for Kenna but for us all.

How thankful am I—for my elders right now who taught me day at a time living, because man am I honored to be able to be still a minute inside this moving and marching on, to get to be able to not miss a thing…

Blessed be us sacred highest harmony one love, new moon and completion and successful endings.

Which only ever (always) means Begin.

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