Here he is, last Wednesday. (Is that the expression of an adoring grandmother or what?)
Not the easiest child to raise, mainly because he was smarter than me from the moment he arrived on the planet. Questing. Intense. From the first moment he raised his eyes to mine in the delivery room, calmly and with a curious intent–“hmmm. Who are you? And what are we about here?” I should have known. How do you stay ahead of a seven year old who reads The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and says, “I don’t think it’s actually about a magical world. I think it’s about God”? Or a ten year old who can sneak in the back door of the computer of a computer geek? How do you stay ahead of a twelve year old who reads the constitution for fun and wants to debate the finer points with you, even though civics where never exactly your favorite subject? (Answer: bribe him to join the debate team at school.) Sometimes people would take me to task for this or that thing I was doing “wrong,” and I would, say, “I’m doing my best, but mainly, he’s raising himself.”
When he was six (or so) months old, he sat on the floor in a Victorian apartment with stained glass and very old carpets, struggling to pick up little plastic balls and put them in a plastic milk bottle. He wasn’t all that skilled at sitting up yet, but he was absolutely determined that he would put those balls in the bottle. He tried. Fell over. Tried again. Howled furiously. Tried again. He did this with singular intensity for an hour.
My father said, “You are in so much trouble.”
But it wasn’t trouble. Intense, yes. Challenging, yes. But he’s also always been wildy funny, clever, and fun to be around. Ian makes us laugh. He used to come down the stairs to breakfast while the Imperial March played on his computer, but he did it with a great wink to the world. He made videos narrating family life and illuminating the ins and outs of our daily world, and wrote an ode to a crabapple tree I cut down and wore jeans and tennis shoes beneath his doctoral robes at commencement last Wednesday, where he–a kid from one of those rectangular states in the west–graduated second in his class. Wow.
We are all BURSTING with pride. Bravo, kiddo!!
(I have more trip reports to post after almost three solid weeks in various places, but at some point, a woman has to get some sleep. I have some fat books to read in the comfy quiet of my basement, and when I can think again, I will post Green Man photos and Buena Vista and NYC notes.)