Now, it’s truly over. TeachersWrite camp has sustained me through the summer. It has given me a path for being a teacher who writes. And, it has shown me that I am also a writer. I actually believe that I could someday be one of those remarkable people I’ve been admiring and emulating all summer: a published author!

If you read through my blog posts, you will get a window into the journey I’ve taken with Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jo Knowles, and Jen Vincent. They have each been generous with their time, brilliant with their expertise, and an enthusiastic voice of encouragement. I am truly a changed person for having participated.

A search of #teacherswrite on Twitter will turn up the most wonderful community of teachers who write and published authors. I learned from my fellow campers and the guest authors, and was inspired by their work. They provided advice and encouragement to me along the way. Without the #teacherswrite community, the following Friday Feedback post would never have occurred. I am deeply grateful.

Here is my last Friday Feedback post of Summer 2015. It is an excerpt from a bigger piece of writing I am working on. I will share more as I continue my writing adventure!

 

 

The Day Arrives

 

The Uber

is running late.

4 minutes becomes 9,

becomes 12.

My husband calls.

I am just around the corner,

the driver assures him.

I want to throw up.

I want to be at the restaurant.

I swallow my annoyance.

I could have been there,

if we’d walked.

I need to be there.

I need to see him the second he walks in.

There it is!

We jump in the car,

apologies from the driver

No problem, Eric says.

I check my phone.

Crap! I missed a text.

It’s Jeremy– 4:26 pm

“I am leaving soon.”

4:50 pm– I reply

Ok. We’re in an uber on our way.

I want to teleport.

Each moment in this car is molasses.

I don’t want to miss a second with that child,

now a man,

with hours left until he boards a plane.

I am going to throw up.

 

Just last night,

I cradled his head against me

as we both cried.

For different reasons

and for some of the same.

I brought Jeremy something

what was it?

I can’t remember.

Doesn’t matter.

His room was chaos.

His plans to clean out his room

before leaving

had fallen short.

What’s your plan? I asked.

I still have things to pack.

I need to finish

my speech.

He looked around his

dismantled room

and swollen tears

began to spill down

his sweet and sorrowful face.

My tears followed,

and I held him, stroking his head,

as I have since he was a baby.

Top of his head toward his ear,

then down to the nape of his neck,

and again,

in a rhythmic pattern.

I know this is hard, I whisper.

I’m so sorry this hurts.

You are brave to leave what you know,

and start fresh in a new place.

I am so proud of you.

I love you so much.

 

That was last night,

and now I am left with

one more night before he goes

to Japan

where 13 hours and

half a sphere will separate us.

I will the car and driver to move through

these blasted New York City streets,

packed with cars and people.

It might as well be Japan already

I feel so trapped here,

waiting for lights

and pedestrians

and taxis.

 

Just drop us off here,

Eric tells the driver.

We can walk from the corner.

Oh, thank goodness.

In a few hours, this corner

will be etched in my mind

when it marks a final moment,

but for now,

it marks progress.

I am steps away

from my baby.

I move quickly without appearing

to race

wanting to save face,

not look ridiculous,

but knowing on some level

that I’m allowed to look

ridiculous.

Eric will understand.

Jeremy will understand.

But I feel certain that my

moves should be measured,

calming,

reassuring,

encouraging

NOT

anxious,

worrisome,

needy.

It is time to let go.

 

We approach the open windows and door

of the French bistro,

and I am hoping we will

be first,

but then,

in an instant,

it doesn’t matter.

That boy and his damn cute grin

are waiting at the bar,

beer glass in hand,

and I melt.

How did we do this?

 

I still remember the

exact moment Eric presented

him to me.

It was a beautiful April day,

but we’d missed all of it,

listening to K.D. Lang while I labored

to deliver

a giant of a baby

who was going nowhere.

Twenty-two hours,

and 3 centimeters.

You’re not working with me,

Eric told me.

Are you f-ing kidding me?

Our nerves were frayed.

That story told countless times since,

always to laughter.

You’re lucky you lived to tell that story,

people tell my husband.

Right?!

Too funny.

Then the decision,

to deliver by C-section.

And at 7:00 p.m. precisely,

his lungs opened up

and he wailed,

It’s a boy!

My husband got the honors,

and presented all 9 lbs. and 13 oz.

of our finest joint creation.

Cradled in Eric’s arms,

our baby’s head nestled in his hands,

I took in the full cheeks and quivering mouth.

I extended my hand,

wires dangling from my wrist,

And I caressed his downy head,

as I would do so many times,

right up until the night before he left.

 

Enthralled, I repeated…

He’s so beautiful.

He’s so beautiful.

He’s so beautiful.

 

And here we are,

and he’s still beautiful,

and in a suit,

tie loosened,

chatting up the bartender.

How I love this child.

 

I

can’t

believe

I have to

say

goodbye.

Tonight.

I put on my smile.

I kiss Jeremy’s smoothly shaved cheek.

No one tells you about

this when you have a baby.

Sure, they make jokes.

Goes by in a blink of an eye.

Today diapers, tomorrow college.

BUT

nobody tells you about

the exquisite

pain.

The word bittersweet

must have been invented

by a mother

upon bidding farewell

to her child.

Under my smile,

I am already crying,

and we haven’t even had dinner yet.

 

Stay in this moment.

Don’t think ahead.

You still have these minutes.

Don’t waste them thinking about

goodbye.

I swallow the lump in my throat,

order a glass of wine,

and lean in.

There are still stories

to be shared.