Thanks to Casey today was an exciting day; by special invitation I attended the sixth grade Honor Roll Assembly! Son Casey was one of many ambitious students recognized for having earned excellent grades for the first semester of the first year in middle school. I am a proud mom. He is definitely off to a very good start in the challenge of preparing for college and adulthood.
Saying this seems so strange, as when I was his age and in sixth grade, we certainly were not thinking of college acceptance and competitive pressures. Life was much easier a hundred years ago--wasn't it?
I also realize that I have neglected to write about the rather consequential, life changing event that took place in our lives a few weeks ago. Casey became his uncle! Strange events do happen, don't they? After having been guardians of Casey for many years, we finally were able to adopt him and become his recognized parents. This is something he had asked for and we wanted but until a recent California Supreme Court ruling impacting our situation, it wasn't in the cards. Now we are a family unit, confident in the future ahead of us.
Which leads to today's look in question--one that I must and will get used to without feeling an explanation is required. Admittedly, I look a little older than the other mothers--even if women are waiting until later in life to have children and even if I did have my makeup on. I'm much later. And so the woman sitting next to me, with whom I had struck up a casual conversation as we waited for the children, asked if I had a child being honored. I said "yes, my son." As I said this, her face spontaneously registered a look of confusion and surprise as she tried to reconcile conflicting input. My first reaction was to explain to this stranger that he had been my grandson, was still my grandson, but was also my son. Then, I caught myself and realized that sorting it out for her was not necessary. This was a crossroads moment for me and from now on quizzical looks won't matter.
I learned this lesson many years ago in a different context and in a different time when we adopted two African-American children. As is apparent in our pictures, Ken and I are not African-American but quite European-Caucasian. When we went out, people looked or even, one might say, gawked at us. We were an anomaly-often one that was not liked. Although, to be fair, sometimes the looks were purely ones of surprise rather than judgment. Even today I am sure these looks continue for mixed-race families; in the late sixties/early seventies, they were a given. It was not unknown to have the "looks" accompanied by comments and loud whispers.
Eventually these experiences became so mundane and so a part of our lives that we neglected to notice them. It was only when I would think about it and check to see if they were still happening that I knew they were. By then, it was not our problem but the looker's. Even today if I am out with an adult child and am called "mom," necks swivel but I think as often now in surprise as in condemnation. Times have changed--a little.
So, I am relearning the lesson I learned so many years ago--let people handle their own curiosities. It is not my responsibility or need to speak to them. Isn't it strange how life moves in circles and what we learn at one point prepares us for new times and experiences? I love it and I love my new son--very much. Casey Alex, you are special!
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.