Saturday, May 30, 2009

The last page

I'm an early riser and part of my ritual each morning is pushing the button on the coffee pot that I loaded the night before. This morning when I got up at 5 a.m. the button was already on and the coffee was almost all gone. Next to the pot was a note. Archie had been up late painting the kitchen floor and had needed the coffee to stay awake.

Well, he was painting the floor because his big brother Ethan is coming in this weekend and we are trying to spruce things up a bit. Ethan is coming in this weekend because we are embarking on graduation week around here and that brings me to my story.

I noticed that the note was written on the last page of the note book.

Many years ago our lives changed. My children's father and I got divorced. It was a rotten time for everyone involved and none of us like to talk about it and I'm not going to now. But, suffice to say, our lives changed and when lives change sometimes we want to hang on to things--maybe because we are afraid of more change or maybe in order to validate that we are alive--who knows what the psychological motivation is but one thing that we began doing was keeping a notebook in the kitchen drawer that was dedicated only to notes to one another. No more notes written on scraps of paper and thrown away. I have ten notebooks filled with notes from 2002 to the present.

"I'm at soccer practice can you bring me gatorade"

"I'm at the movies with MH"

"Can you wake me up at 9?"

"Supper's at 6, we're having chicken"

None of the notes were significant. None of those notes changed anyone's life or will make it into the archives of a university but they are the notes of our lives for the past 7 years. When one notebook would get full, we would start another and I will keep them all forever.

And Archie's note from last night--on the last page of the notebook--the youngest child a week from graduation and leaving home. It feels significant somehow--a little bit like a big hug saying we made it.

13 comments:

rach :) said...

I'm with you: having the last page used a week before he uses the "last page" of his HS career at graduation is significant. No idea what it is significant of, mind you, but that does seem a bit like the hand of Fate intervening.

Enjoy the week!

Pat said...

Beth, I'm so touched by this story. I have so many little scraps of paper. Tidbits of my sons' worlds while thy lived at home. Reminders, requests, and gloriously, celebratory announcements. "I found my lost paycheck under a pile of books!" I carried them all with me from Presque Isle to our new house in Hampden. With all the things we let go of for this move,I carry those paper pieces in a drawer and in my heart for all time.

LoveANewIdea said...

Oh, I love this story AND the notebooks. Such a treasure to have. Great last paragraph.

Silly, but I keep our calendars at the end of every year - nothing huge on them, but it reminds me of what we were doing, which lessons my daughter was taking, who came to dinner, etc.

Ruth said...

Very touching, Beth. We use a dry erase board on the fridge for messages...no permanence there at all. Enjoy your time with your family this weekend.

Beth said...

Rach, indeed, it's all good.

Pat, thank you--I definitely would expect you to be a hold onto the notes person. Hope to see you this summer.

Loveanewidea, I keep calendars too--I was going to include that in the post on the notebooks but decided to save it.

Ruth, you know I was thinking that none of us had cellphones until recently, but texting would probably replace the need for a notebook and that is as temporary as the white board.

KGMom said...

Oh very sweet, and VERY appropriate.
I have a notebook story--not like yours--but notebooks do have a story to tell, don't they.

Susan said...

I love that notebook idea!

Marianne said...

beth, this post gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. What treasures! I have one yellow legal pad that happened spontaneously between Camille and I 2 years ago, that I tucked away to save forever too. Congrats to Archie, and you, and Ethan...and remember to tell Archie that Camille thinks he's "hot"! hahahaha (And I guess to him, she's an older woman! 20 is pretty old) My love and hugs to you...

Carey's Corner said...

Congratulations to Archie on his accomplishment and to you Beth for being a good persevering mom. Hope you all can have a good week and enjoy the occasion.

Jayne said...

What a sweet thing Beth. I would also cherish those books forever and ever.

TheElementary said...

Without a doubt this is my absolutely favourite of all your stories. I immediately want to read it again, and if Mater hasn't read it yet I'll put her onto it. It's just... perfect. Sums up everything about being a mother, and the passing of time, and new adventures to embark on. Perfect.
And that notebook idea is pretty wonderful in itself.

nan said...

I love this so much. I wish I had known about the idea many years ago. I'd love to have all those notes. I've kept a few over the teen years, but not nearly enough. Better than any diary, I think. Thank you, Beth, and best wishes to your whole family.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, here is a BIG HUG to you! I understand the notebook thing. I am so proud of you! My Mom is a single Mother. I know how hard that can be.