Joe College has been home for two weeks. There is the fleeting smugness of one on the verge of graduating at the top of his class. Post academe, the world will kick the shit of the lad. Until them Himself and I exchange a knowing glance, remembering when we were smart and young and invincible. But I also see a thoughtfulness and maturity burgeoning in the boy. Our infrequent visits make it easier to observe his strides toward maturity. Since he's been back we've pretty much sat on the couch watching movies. We share a blanket in the dark and argue about Paul Thomas Anderson and Richard Linkletter. That's the thing with grown up happiness. With little kids it's Christmas presents or Disneyland. As an adult it's just these tiny moments. Grown up sadness though is another thing. Tragedies, losses, disappointments aren't at all ephemeral and the specificity gives these a lot more force then a glimmer of warm and fuzzy on the sofa during winter vacation.
Being relieved of most of my maternal duties threw me for a dastardly loop. It is over two years since Spuds started college and my television watching increased stratospherically. My weight has crept up in tiny increments. It is still way lower than it's been for most of my adult life but I am aware of bouts of mindless eating that keep me from getting down to my goal weight. I never miss a Weight Watchers meeting while I'm in town although this is mainly because we have a fun breakfast after. The leader made a point at the end of the year meeting that for some of us, which would include a lot of my Weight Watchers friends who have reached goal weight, that it is a revelation not to have “lose weight” at the top of the resolution list. I'm not as close as I've been but even with ten extra pounds, a normal weight is within my realm of possibility. I am realistic about resolutions but the thought of how close I am to being able to say that I am not concerned about losing weight is pretty awesome. I know that maintaining weight loss is even more challenging but this is a challenge I've never ever had in my life before and maybe I am up for it.
Realizing how close I am and how many habits have permanently changed makes for cautious optimism about reaching my weight goal. Writing every week is also habitual but after some huge disappointments it's been a couple years since I've been serious about anything other than this blog. I'm not sure if there was a favorable shift in brain chemistry, a gift from the universe or all those hours I've watched television, thinking about people and stories finally clicked but I started on a big project and I feel good about it.
It's finally kicked in that as the kids get older I will get to enjoy the fruits of two decades of helicopter parenting. They are fun to be with and quality over quantity is well worth ascribing too. I have figured out, finally, what to do with the time and energy I poured into being a mom. For now I am writing with a fire I haven't had in a long time. Previously when I was caught up in a big project I reduced my writing here to once a month. This go-round I'm going to try to throw something up here every week. But in keeping with the less is more thing that's resonating as I hurtle into 2015, I going to limit my pieces to 750 words, or like this 617 word piece here, fewer.
Illustration--A Greater Morning, Arthur B. Davies