Waldlaw Blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Watching Our Kids Grow Up

Many of you who tried to call me last week got a message that I was out of the office, and I've been greeted all week by "I hope you had a good vacation!" Well, it's time to fess up about what I was actually doing last week while I wasn't in the Wald Law office.... My sons are now 11 and 13. They have shared a bedroom for their entire lives. Over the past several months, it became clear -- first to my partner and, eventually, to me and the boys -- that they both needed more space and privacy. So, last week while neither boy was in camp, we rearranged our house to turn what had been our family den into a bedroom for our older son. This meant moving two couches, bookcases, bureaus and a bed. It meant cleaning out drawers and shelves and cabinets. It meant getting rid of all of the outgrown projects and hobbies and toys and books. When all was said and done, it meant acknowledging that our sons really are growing up. I admit that I had underestimated the amount of sheer physical labor involved in moving our kids into separate rooms. I didn't reckon on the sore muscles and exhaustion that resulted from moving couches and bookcases from upstairs to down, moving bed and bureau from one room to the next. I didn't realize how much dust I was going to injest along the way. But as much as I had underestimated the physical job, it doesn't come close to the extent to which I had failed to understand the emotional component of this move. It seems like just a few years ago that I had two babies -- one in a crib, and one in a toddler bed -- sleeping next to each other under their mobiles. Like only months ago that I would sit on a chair in the middle of my children's bedroom, arms outstretched to either side to hold two small hands and sing quiet songs while my boys fell asleep in their twin beds. Like just yesterday that one son, waking up from a bad dream, would climb into bed with his brother to find easy comfort there. Now, my sons are both in middle school. They are listening to their music on their ipods, each with his own headphones on, each in his own private world. They are sending and receiving e-mail that they don't want the rest of us to see. They are ... well, they are growing up. And so, they need separate rooms. Separate spaces to grow into and, eventually, to grow out of. I guess that's why this move feels so big. I finish sorting and rearranging and dusting with the knowledge that the next time we go through a major move like this with our sons, it will be to move one of them -- and then, two years later, the other -- out of our home and into a dorm room or apartment. It is what we've raised them for. It is what we want for them. It is a huge change that moves closer with each inch they grow and each MUNI train they ride on their own and each new song they listen to by a band I've never heard of. So, what I was actually doing last week while I was out of my office was acknowledging the young men that my children are turning into. And moving furniture. And it's pretty clear, in retrospect, which was the bigger job....


Post a Comment

<< Home