Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The Little Black Volvo Returns to the University

Davis Celebrates His First Solo Drive to School

Before cell phones, (There was life before cell phones???) when I wore a watch, I always had the watch set for 5 minutes faster than the actual time. I suppose it was my vain attempt to not measure time, but control it. I could always be 5 minutes late...yet still on time.

All of creation is set up to measure time - the sun and moon, the tides, women's bodies, seasons. All of creation responds to the prompts. Birds fly north and south. Animals give birth in season. Very soon my jousting hummingbirds will no longer squeak at my veranda's end.

All measures of time.

This morning my newly crowned 16 year old backed out of Hillcrest Cottage's driveway in the manual transmission Jeep he 'stole' from Dad. He was so proud to be finally emancipated...cleared to drive solo. He had done what no other Kinley brother had been willing to do - learn how to manage a manual transmission in our very hilly town.

Yesterday, on his Labor day 'holiday', Davis had spent 3 hours at football practice, mowed and weed-eated our entire property, then, had meticulously washed the Jeep. All this work doesn't even include the half day he had earlier spent vacuuming, spot cleaning the carpet, and discovering at least 4 ant colonies thriving beneath the Jeep's carpet.

Let's just say Dad hadn't paid much attention to the asthetics of his Jeep. "It's a Jeep" had been his standard mantra for 10 years.

Soon a new top will be arriving. Davis has 'plans' to lift the Jeep, put on huge wheels, a light kit, new speakers, and the list goes on. (No...to most of that...btw, but don't tell him I said that.). He has even more plans to take the car mudding and has already permanently moved the radio station from NPR to the local country station.

"Mom, we live in Arkansas. We have to be rednecks," he now informs me with a wide grin on his face.

This morning I listened to the Jeep's familiar rattle as it drove down Lee Avenue away from Hillcrest Cottage and...

I cried.

It was only yesterday when the little black Volvo had returned to the University. All this change is overwhelming. Suddenly, I find myself looking in the mirror.

Hmmmmm. It's you...again. It's been about 20 years since I have paid you any attention.

All the whirlwind of activity is winding down like my great grandmother's mantle clock...which could never keep proper time but kept on being passed down to someone anyway.

I'm left looking at myself...me...the soon to not be 'the mom' me. These boys of mine are phasing me out. I'm an intuitive 'bird', and I'm reading the seasons. The time has come for me to ask and to answer...
who am I?

Do you ever wonder who you are ...beyond all the labels that life gives you?


  1. He's not supposed to be 16 yet! Life passes by so quickly. :(

  2. Oh yes. My first one won't got off to college until next year, but I feel like I'm already grieving. The "who am I" question is growing in my mind. More than that, the "what should I do next" question seems to be entering the conversation. Who knew it would be this hard?

  3. I sniffled a little bit with you just now. And I did the same thing a number of years ago when mine pulled away from the house, leaving me alone at the curb, and leaving me thinking about how, now, I understand that wistful look on my Daddy's face that appears from time to time.

    YOU are going to be a good project -- you can mold YOUrself into anything that interests YOU!! And even squish down the clay that is YOU and re-mold it into something else if your first choice doesn't suit you! I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

    One thing I DO know, however, is that "MOM" will always be the strongest tool in my skill set. You don't ever stop being "Mom" -- you may not be "Mommy" anymore (although your lap will still be comforting to a baby whose heart has been ripped apart); you won't be "MUH-ther!!! Puh-LEEZE!!" as often (although those offspring get pretty cocky about the infallability of their sweeping "life experience" during their mid-twenties).

    But, "Mom" you will always be -- so don't worry about having to wave goodbye to her, too, as the kids back out of the driveway and motor off into their own lives. She'll never leave you standing at the curb.

  4. Your sons are so awesome - you and your husband have done an amazing job. Wow, Davis has worked really hard for everything... and football too! I bet he's thrilled to be rattling down the road in the Jeep :)

    But I can so identify with your feelings too :)

    Megan :)