I love this photo my sister took of me hugging Jackson at his graduation. I look old and seriously ugly but I see a lot of his life and our history in those wrinkles and that scrunched-up expression—all the days and moments from his opening-number first five weeks of nonstop crying because was literally starving (thanks La Leche League <sarcasm), to the toddlerhood during which he would not stop talking, to the adolescence where he wouldn’t bother, and finally now to the transition in which we are learning to communicate like actual adults.
You can’t see from his back—and maybe no one else can see in my face—the friends who shared and shaped his childhood (thanks Genevieve and Carmen, Liz and David, because we may not have survived without you); the Legos that saved my sanity (see above: “would not stop talking”); the hundreds, maybe thousands of fantasy/science fiction books that I refused to read but he did with a frightening appetite (thanks Alan and everyone else at Borderlands Books); the countless hours driving, flying, and fencing (me not so much the latter, but thanks M Team and Greg Massialas); the fire that burned down our house when he was seven (thanks SFFD for rescuing us off the balcony); the divorce that he claimed bothered us but not him (maybe he’s right, and if so, thanks Steven Okuhn); and the melding of a wonderful new family (thanks don’t begin to cover it, all you Danforths). I look at this photo and see that this is the moment I truly realized that he is an adult who’s going out into the world equipped with all his life has given him: openness, intellectual appetite, strong principles, sweetness and generosity beneath a healthy skepticism, and love, lots of love. *Also, this is the last f-ing graduation posting, I promise.