Hand In Hand

 As school starts, I got thrown into thinking of all the school things you made sure we were ready for. Aside from the lunches, the clothes, the magic sock basket, doing the girl’s hair, making sure I had a tank of hairspray for my “spike”. Most days I can’t even fathom having this many kids in school. I know there are more school pics I can dig up, but this one is one of my favorites. It’s a “start”, a new beginning, a new year, a fresh go at it. I imagine those feelings of joy you had walking any of us up to Delcroft during those days. Holding our hands. Hearing us mumble or talk. I would give anything to have had technology record those moments. Those private moments, mother and child/teen/college. I think of the time we made the volcano. The time I made some crazy farm out of some weird mix of pancake mix and something else and it hardeneed, but then broke apart during the school year. Accepting that I wasn’t a lunch bag kid and my public school roots were just happy to have a foil-wrapped cheesesteak fresh from the Delcroft Cafeteria. The smell of that school and the calm that smell brought to me that I could somehow still conjure during certain times. Maybe it is just the smell of books, growth, learning, life, tears, smiles, and allt things in between. I can still see the Delcroft cul-de-sac when the doors of the cafeteria would open. Kids of different grades playing on both sides. A fresh frozen ice cream sandwich. My Delcroft years were pretty uneventful. I wasn’t playing organized sports yet, but you guys made sure I could go and do anything I wanted. I recently confessed that the bird that was at the Sprinfield Art Show was actually drawn by me, but with some help from Mr. Lesisko. I messed the wing up something fiece, but then he drew over it and it got into the show. I accepted the fame. Haha. I remember walking home those days. Cold winter days. Hot spring summer. My butt sticking to those damn chairs. The tan coarse desks. A rubber pencil case smelling of erasers and my Transformers lunch box I tried to use until it rusted out. I imagine as a parent, you saw these as special times. I wish part of me knew how special they were as more of a viewer. I think of how I felt holding your hand. How you felt marching each daughter to their first class, first talent show, first after school event, etc. I guess part of it became rinse and repeat, but part of me knows that each of us got a different “you” in every experience. I know there was probably a, “well, how did you like it? How did it go? Did you meet lots of nice kids? Did you like your teacher?” Always questions. Always listening for answers you could save for later years. I know some day I will send kids off to school. I often think of that moment and think of you seeing that. What you would’ve asked me, asked them, thought of it. The smile of the joy of seeing another generation. Just the overall peace and calm you got out of doing things like this with your kids and now your children’s children. And sometimes I wish I stayed home more days. I could always pull a few sick days out of my ass. Before the girls really grew up. You would make me some oatmeal or a BLT and let me sit and watch cartoons and what’s happening. I remember that full-body superman jammy thing I used to wear. There is a picture somewhere of me on the couch, moody at you taking my picture….but God…am I happy we both liked to take pictures. In a dream I am walking with you up to Delcroft and we’re holding hands. Your voice resonating into me as I start my life in this great big world. But for those times, there aren’t any smart phones, no social media, even TV is still just really growing. It’s just a walk up the street on a nice day. A mother and her child and their place in the world….where they don’t need things and likes….just some hand-in-hand and lots of love and care and safety. That’s my childhood.  



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