As I wrote earlier about some of the not nicer moments with children, I want to make up for it by sharing one of the more wondrous moments of motherhood. Let me explain that I’m still trying to figure out how to be the mother of adult children, which is at times tricky. We all regress from time to time. I go back to being the mother who is scared to let her children walk to school alone. And I also go back to being the child who was scared to get on the bus for kindergarten….Which is all a long way of getting around to saying how scary it has been to launch myself into this blog way of publishing, and how terrific my sons have been in helping me. Not because they showed me how to take use the computer. They were grumpy about it--see earlier post--but each one has shown me their own courage in putting themselves out there, creatively, without a thought about others’ judgments. They were carried along by the sheer pleasure of doing what they wanted to do. That’s what I want to learn.
My son Alex began to take pictures as a teenager, and he has a terrific eye, a keen awareness of unusual moments, and a solid sense of composition. He produced a series of self-portraits that he would present to me from time to time, in which he was featured as a tiny dot in an enormous landscape. I could say it was his way of telling me he was growing up, and on his own. But it was meant to be his way of telling me how gorgeous Scotland was (he was covering it for a travel guide one summer.) Now he is my inspiration for taking pictures, something I’ve long wanted to do, but resisted because I was afraid of cameras. My friend Frances Palmer stuck a simple Canon point and shoot in my hands and said Go.
Theo spent a summer with me in Rhode Island the year after I lost my job, and in retrospect I see that he was worried about my state of mind, and wanted to be near. He gave me the happiest summer of my life, and I wrote about it in Slow Love. He also set up a studio in my garage, and wrote and recorded over a dozen songs, playing the instruments and singing. This body of work he dedicated to the memory of his cousin, Dominique, my sister’s Nicole’s daughter, who died tragically young, on Mother’s Day. I want to stop and honor her here too. (http://www.dominiquesfund.org/)
So as I launch into this new form of publishing, I want to pause a moment, and thank everyone who has helped me get here, especially Nicole, her husband Steve Rifkin, and Alex and Theo. And Kate Caprari, who designed the site, and Grace Bonney, who wouldn’t let me back out. I know, I know, big deal. Well, for lots of us at a certain age, it is, especially those of us who have been in print magazines our whole lives. However, I can already see how liberating a form this is for a writer. I turn 55 this year, and I decided, in January, that if I wasn’t going forward, it wasn’t because I could stand still, as I had thought. It meant that I was drift backwards in a current that would be harder to escape as time passed. I’ll write later about being fearful, but I’ve finally learned that when I’m afraid of what I’m doing it is because I’m shedding a life and moving into a new one.
I hope you will enjoy this journey with me, and share your thoughts.