Abandoning the chrysalis. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2014 v8n2 p0722
This glorious northern summer I am mostly organizing letters my parents wrote between 1944 and 1946, when both were young physicians caught up in the war effort, and throwing away the chrysalis, the remains of the childhoods of my 4 children.
Against reason and biology, somehow I believed they would someday come back for clothes, books, photographs, school papers, toy cars, stuffed animals, electric trains and the trunk full of plastic bricks. But now I know that they have shed their skins in their eagerness to
1) hang out in a Thai jungle with monks,
2) build bigger and better robots in Baltimore,
3) figure out how to convert interest in sustainable lifestyles into paid work
4) learn everything possible about the molecular basis of life.
No room anywhere for the chrysalis. So I am left piling things into bags to haul to the trash or charitable organizations. Carefully going through everything because I lost my rings from my 3 marriages in 2007, and found them again in an odd but completely logical place in 2013. Which is mildly comforting: my short-term memory loss is not new, and maybe I am not in the early stages of dementia.
I found part of a poster today, describing the lives of my elder 2 children, which were then only 6 and 4 years long:
"August 1987. Mother has to go to a biochemistry conference in Yugoslavia. Angus and Miles come along. They meet a small dog called Maruno in the little hotel next to the lake near Lyubljana. After camping next to a lake in Austria, they go back to Freiburg. This time they have their own bicycles and find many paths through the Black Forest. They really like the 2-day hock in the little village of Hochdorf. They stay up late and dance and play."
Ah. We spent a month with Lothar, in Germany, and drove to what is now part of Slovenia, in Lothar's Audi. Lothar took care of the boys when I was at the conference. One day Miles ran in front of a car, which stopped with an inch to spare. What if? What if?
And today we have been hearing about 290 bodies removed from a most beautifully photogenic summer wheat field in Ukraine after a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down. For 5 days we are hearing about the genius and potential for peace of the passengers who were Dutch, Malaysian, Australian and other nationalities.
The launcher of the missile that brought down the plane is not accepting guilt; not the Ukrainian government, not the Ukranian Russian separatists who are shooting at Ukraine, not the Russian government that wants eastern Ukraine in Russia.
Was there someone or something on the plane that made it a target? A wolf hiding with sheep? As Israel claims is happening in Gaza as Palestinian deaths pile up during the current offensive?
Or was it really an accident? Grief often comes from weapons in the hands of young hyperactive men. My own Uncle Tony was made paraplegic by 'friendly fire" in France in 1944.
Life is short, and I am so happy that I am able to throw out the chrysalis from each of my children after each has abandoned it. So proud of Miles. So thankful the driver stopped. Amen.