Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Josie -- All Grown Up
In 2001, shortly after I began writing “Observations from The F.A.R.M.”, I composed a column about my son Guy, who was graduating from high school. The article was a bit nostalgic as I reflected on Guy’s wonderful qualities and spoke about the fact that –suddenly and to my dismay – my ‘little boy’ was all grown up.
It saddens me to say that I don’t have a copy of that column. Back then (in the ‘olden days’) I typed my columns and dropped them off at The Irregular… at which time Heidi or Bob would re-type them and format them for the paper. I’m sure I must have kept a copy of the newspaper when that particular story was published (I’m sentimental, that way) but if I did, I’ve since misplaced it.
Nowadays I type “Observations” on my laptop, save a copy of each column to my “Irregular” file and then attach the document to an email and whisk it on its way through the ether to Main Street in Kingfield. Those seasoned (and somewhat spicy) experts at the paper can copy and paste me with little effort or fanfare. Yes, the process is easier and cleaner these days and I’ve got dozens of articles stored on my computer which serve as reminders of the many milestones reached – and experiences survived – here in our little corner of Maine. I’m pleased about that but I can’t help feeling regret that there are several years’ of my columns (my memories) which are – for all intents and purposes – gone.
It’s been thirteen years since Guy graduated from Carrabec High School and now Steven and I have another offspring who is attaining adulthood. Josie-Earl, middle child and Daughter Extraordinaire, will be turning 18 next month and graduating from Carrabec in June. I know these landmark events didn’t sneak up on me. In some ways it seems as if I’ve always had kids underfoot and overhead and invading my personal space. Yes, there have been times when I thought I couldn’t wait until the little darlings grew up and moved out! But then reality hits. They really and truly will do exactly that. Grow up and move out.
As I face the fact that we’ll soon be turning a new page in our lives – a whole new chapter, even – I wonder…and I worry. I wonder if Josie knows how much I love her. And I worry I haven’t done a good enough job showing her how very, very important she is to me. I recognize that I’ve often been too busy. Too distracted. Too impatient. I know that I can’t ever get back all those times when she wanted or needed my undivided attention and I put her off until ‘later’. Now, here it is…later. And she’s a young woman who is about to embark on a life that no longer revolves around her family at The F.A.R.M.
As I look at this beautiful girl and think about all that which makes up the “Essence of Josie”, I feel extreme pride. She’s strong. Kind. Stubborn. Intelligent. She shares an affinity with animals. She appreciates beauty. She loves to learn. She laughs easily. She thinks deeply. She is polite and helpful, charming and witty.
I’ll say it again. Wow.
I often ponder the fates, trying to figure out how I got so lucky. I have three amazing children. Two boys, one girl. Three completely different personalities with diverse interests and talents and strengths. But they are all strong in their own way and that gives me a measure of comfort. I fret when I think about how tough this world is – how difficult and challenging it can be. I’m their mother and it’s my job to protect them from all the ‘scary stuff’. But you see…they aren’t afraid. Josie isn’t afraid. Josie is ready to grab this world by the tail. She is eager to face ‘life’ and the challenges it brings.
My only daughter, Jocelia Caitlin Pease…an amazing young woman. A true woman of substance.