Thursday, December 8, 2011

The One's Column

Mother's Journal 
11.15. 01

I feel like a beginner these days. Like a kid in second grade just learning how to regroup in math. How is it when you add up the numbers in the first column you need to carry what's left over, or too much, into the next column. 

Next door to Mr. Ten's House.

Or maybe Ms. Hundred's house, depending on how far you've gotten.

Claire was one when I wrote that. 

She's twelve now.

And I'm still a beginner, still regrouping.

I feel a wave of understanding rise up in me, a sinking into the feeling that my class full of seven year olds must've felt on their first day of second grade. 

All the questions, all the unknowns.

Who will be in my class?
Is my teacher a nice one or a mean one? What if I forget what I learned in first grade? What if I don't know what she's talking about? What if? What if? 

I can still see their faces; bright, open, smiling, willing to try something new. Simply because I asked them to try it. This was so easy for some of them that I had to keep putting new things in front of them. Some kids were happy to be beginners. They knew they had a lot to learn and there was much they didn't have a clue about.  They jumped in anyway. Tongues sticking out of the corners of their mouths, pencils clutched tightly.

There were the kids who hated beginning. They wanted to be there already, to know it, to have crossed the finish line without running the race, to be on the top of the mountain without doing the climb. 

A tad impatient. I can relate.

To be a beginner means starting from scratch. To feel like you have nothing to hold onto, nothing to wrap yourself around. 

It's flying without wings
leaping off the proverbial cliff.

Beginning again is a trust in the journey. It's believing I have been guided to this place for a reason, to discover something inside me I never knew existed. Or if I did, I was too scared to check it out.

You don't learn regrouping by 

jumping to Ms. Hundred's house. 

You have to start in the one's column.

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