God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And...Time Marches On

Casey became an "always with us" part of our lives six years ago. Here he is at lunch in Arezzo in June, 2003. What a great trip it was as we spent 6 weeks in Spain and Italy. Unfortunately, things being as they are with kids, Ken and I have all the memories of a little boy's wonder and fun. He remembers very little. Sometimes I bring out the old picture albums or bring photos up on the screen so that he can dig deep. He does remember lovely Sofia whom he has seen almost every summer since.

A year later, 2004,  he was slashing his way through the Amazon Rain Forests of Ecuador where he also shared the Amazon River with deadly piranhas. Of course, being Casey, he managed an Ecuadorean girlfriend while exploring the Galapagos islands.

Then came 2005 and Alaska. Another big adventure  ..this time with bears, whales, salmon and eagles...flying and soaring in and out of mountain glaciers...seeing the big brown bear snagging his dinner from the cold waters. And...another girl.

Finally came August 2006--the year he became an Italian. The year he and Camilla began their unique bonding and friendship that started the only way it could--the language of balloons. By the end of that year, August 2007, the parting was painful and difficult.

These two children virtually lived together for that year. They knew each others secrets and ways. As they said, they were closer than brother and sister, girl friend and boy friend. It was and is a friendship that defies description.

All of this is prelude to why I write now. It seems that  becoming a middle schooler has caused a metamorphosis. Casey is no longer the child he was. He is providing clues as to the teenager, young adult and man that he will become. He has entered the twilight zone currently known as the "tweener years."

And..it all seems to have come to noticeable fruition in the last two weeks. A stunning transformation is taking place--clearly out of my control--as much as want to say "halt"--stay a little boy a while longer.

Thy symptoms are: girls are calling--multiple times during the day; name brand clothes are suddenly known to exist--Target just doesn't cut it any longer; "skinny" jeans are "de rigueur;" walking around with earbuds leading to the MP3 player hidden in the pocket is cool and there is a great necessity (unfulfilled) for a personal cell phone, preferrably an IPhone.  I am beginning to sense that soon we will be on the periphery of his life--called upon when needed but the focus being outside of us. I know this will be normal but I don't like it--at all.

For now, though, he still walks holding hands, seeks reassuring hugs, laughs with me and jumps into bed in the morning.  He's tall enough that sometimes his arm finds my shoulder. And as I write this, he comes in asking for a "huggie" before going up to prepare for bed. Maybe the boy will always be there to come forth at unexpected moments.


Judith in Umbria said...

How did I miss the 5 year old Casey? Good thing I did, because I would have stolen him away forever. As it is, he has taken my heart forever and then gone and grown up. Whoa! That's bad, as I recall only too well.

Anonymous said...

Jane, I remember looking at your blog the first year you set it up and seeing at young Casey. My, how he's grown and done so many wonderful things, like his charity donations.
He is growing into a fine young man. Parts of that little boy will still shine through as he grows up.I am sure. He has a wonderful foundation based on the life he has had with you, Ken and Uncle Jeff.
Pat yourselves on the back for me.
Happy New Year's to all of you in San Diego.

chiaro di luna

Anonymous said...

Those Tween years certainly arrive quickly. They are amazing and challenging at the same time - perhaps a bit frightening as a prelude to that next phase, where we "keep the faith" that our values will prevail :)!

nancyhol said...

What a sweet post! And the photos are adorable.

I bet there will be LOTS of phone calls from girls - I hope he doesn't let it go to his head.

You and Ken have done such a great job in raising Casey - I am sure that he will grow from the darling little boy into a loving and caring man. Just not quite yet!

Jane said...

Friends, thank you so much for finding special heart places for Casey. Judith, I love your comment about 5 year old Casey. He did steal hearts. So many people have traveled this journey with us--maybe that should be a blog post sometime.

Pamela said...

Hi Jane, my new friend. I have discovered a little of your path before now, and see that we have come close to crossing. I, too, have a tween, nearly a teen, also a friend of Sofia, and dang is this a hard period for a mom. it calls to mind my own teens, and the frequent comment my mother made, "I hope you get a daughter just like you." It wasn't meant in the nicest way, and I got a daughter even spunkier than I was, but I say THANX to whoever passes out those spirits. Aren't we lucky?

Jane said...

Thanks for finding me and commenting. Now I feel as if we have really connected. Nico and his family are so dear to us. Didn't you love the pictures of Casey and Sofia? Nico will be here in San Diego next month and I an so excited. He is also helping us plan our Kenya trip. We will be at Sant Antonio in 2011 and will definitely find you--if you are there then. Sure hope so--my new friend.