29 April 2010

so maybe it's all a matter of semantics -

but it's interesting - 
at least to me... 

writing on growth yesterday made me think of other kinds of growth - physical growth... in the spring especially we are surrounded by it... plants pushing their way up through the ground, baby birds and animals making an appearance, children having recitals, plays, graduations - 

in my world, we will start with plays... em is in 'a funny thing happened on the way to the forum' and it begins tonight... yesterday she came home asking, 'mom, could you help me...?' we added adornment to the sashes of the togas - picking a peacock feather because it is a symbol of juno, patroness of rome (i have told you that i am a total left brain/right brain - for i am an academic as much as i love to create)... and em added zodiac symbols to some bags... when she got home at 10pm, more kids wanted some - for this morning, meaning before 7 - so guess what i was doing at 6am?  yes, i know that one looks like a seagull feather - it is, it's an inside joke... but not mine... i just do what i am asked!! it's different to paint for theater - the focus is a bit different - bolder, bigger... 

emily is 18 - this school year saw her get her license and voter registration card (she has even voted)... she graduates high school... alex graduates middle school... and nick is promoted from fifth grade... all this june! exciting and a bit overwhelming - and 'where did the time go?' 

growth - in children we see all of the kinds of growth incredibly accelerated... 

and they are growing up... some would say that em is grown up... 'oh, she's all grown up!'... hmmm... ok, in terms of being able to make something to eat, wash clothes, take responsibility, negotiate and mediate... but grown up? i think not... in fact, didn't i write yesterday about our growth? about initiating it for ourselves each day?

so i guess i am taking it up with the phrase - so very generally accepted... it implies that kids grow up - and then once grown (past tense), they/we are done... for we were once children ourselves... while we may be self-sufficient, we are not grown... 

even in the physical realm our bodies are constantly changing... are we gaining height after a certain point? no... but we change, boy how we continue to change... 

if being grown up implies maturity, why are immature adults still called 'grown ups'? because i know plenty of them - and they own houses, have bank accounts, drive, have the right to vote, shop, etc... they participate in an adult world... but they can be hurtful and destructive with their lack of development...  

if my grandmother felt like she hadn't learned something new that day, she pulled out a dictionary or encyclopedia - and found a new fact, just so she had... forever growing and learning... 

being 'grown up' seems to  imply a static condition - and that is not what life is about... 

thanks for allowing the stream-of-consciousness writing... i just felt like i wasn't done yesterday... like too many loose threads were left... and it isn't like i have tied them all up neatly here - just explored a few more of the obvious ones... 

'when we were children, we used to think 
that when we were grown up we would
no longer be vulnerable. 
but to grow up is to accept vulnerability...
to be alive is to be vulnerable.'
~ madeleine l'engle


  1. I think we are always growing up as long as our minds are open. I know that the older I get it seems the less I know.

  2. Hello MJ. (Hugs) I'm going to forward this post to my 18 year old, who thinks he has arrived!

    Em looks great, you must tell us how the play went. Wow! you guys are having a busy June-congratulations to all on their milestones. We are college freshman and graduate students this year. Some time before our second child was born we agreed to go back to school once Jordan-who we thought to be an only child went to college-and, here we are! Plus, Yael enters her 6th year of un/homeschool...busy!

    It's amazing how much more rewarding my life became as an adult once I realized that I wasn't grown up, but growing up. Upon the realization that I had time still, to explore and learn and muck-up and retry and re-retry. Even with all of the "people-drunkenness", even those dark days are not the end all, and like any bruise a protective layer forms until I'm able to heal up and try again.It's all so very cyclical and fascinating and bittersweet.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. you have posed another good thing to contemplate today.
    oh and did you see that lori is doing another bead soup..that's a growth experience.

  4. Growth never ends as each new day brings new challenges, positive and negative. It is up to us to meet these challenges with grace and courage, or with cowardice and venom. I choose grace and courage!

    Thank you Mary Jane for sharing your words of contemplative wisdom!

  5. P.S. I forgot to say how lovely Em looks in her peacock toga, and how wonderul your painting is~ you always amaze me with your talent!

  6. It's amazing how often I think "okay, I've learned all my life lessons now" and then something new happens to prove just how much I have left to learn.

  7. Oh, Maire, it is such a difficult heart wrenching time when you see your child, especially a first child leave the nest. They may know how to fly but your continued love helps them learn to soar. I know with my own children who are in their 20's, it is a continued journey down the growth path as we learn to love each other in all of our new manifestations.

  8. Well, we never really grow up, do we? I mean, I'm still trying to decide what to be when I grow up.

    I'm 40.


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