Monday, November 30, 2015

what it means

Her college application deadline
looming tonight, 
deeply, carefully, and thoughtfully
contemplating these many weeks
those three essays to write--

A great task, indeed
trying to convey 
in just a few words
the essence, the summary of a life.

Essay #3

Tell us anything else 
you want us to know about yourself
that you haven't had the opportunity
to describe 
elsewhere in the application.

Laden with heavy grocery bags,
I walk in the house
just in time to start supper--

"Mom," she quietly beckons,
"I want you to read this and tell me what you think."
Pausing and drawing near,
I lean in
and soon find myself
touched to tears,
too touched for words:

Steaming homemade wontons dipped with chopsticks into puddles of soy sauce. Field trips to Mexican and British markets. Art projects in the Aboriginal painting style. Family dinners on the floor, eating pita and falafel with our fingers. Excursions through the Roman ruins and winding village roads of Portugal. Anansi the Spider and other African folk tales for bedtime stories.

My mother was my greatest educator. It always went beyond the early reading, the advanced math, the hands-on science. It was art, music, poetry, culture. It was water for the roots of my young soul.

As a child, I thought Mom was teaching me about the world so that I could be smart in school. But as I grew, I realized it was so much more than that. All along, she was teaching me to appreciate other cultures, to value differences in opinion, to accept people regardless of ethnicity or lifestyle, to recognize the beauty in everyone and everything around me.  She was teaching me how to love.

And with those
deeply, carefully, and thoughtfully
chosen words of her heart,
this third essay--
the uniqueness of her,
she decides this:

of what it meant,
that time at home to learn with mom

and this holy gift received tonight
for this 
sometimes wondering,
sometimes doubting,
sometimes not knowing
who now is knowing

something of what those years
to the daughter
and now
to the mother,

what must truly be the essence
of that 
time we had together,

of what she
and yearned
and gave
and taught
these five homeschooled kids,

but mostly for this mom 
who tried, who needed
to learn

1 comment:

  1. Oh Emily, I just love you! You truly make me want to be a better mother. You are amazing.