~summer shorts~ weaving childhood

This past year has been very transitional for Quinn and for me as a parent. At age ten when he began fifth grade, he was one of the big kids in school. For Christmas I gave him practical, useful gifts – a music stand, a hanger to hold his karate belts. In June, I gathered his friends for a party to commemorate the end of elementary school and to ensure he would have peers to connect with in the big new world of middle school.

last day of 6th grade

At Christmas during sixth grade, with his first year of middle school almost halfway completed, I gave him legos and toys. Anything to lighten up the gravity of the middle school transition and recall the playfulness of childhood. On the last day of school, I gathered him to myself and we made books together, layering repurposed paper from art projects spanning his toddler years, creating journals to chronicle our summer adventures. I anchored him in the embrace of his grandparents to begin the summer, in all the time available before his next adventure launched.

The shuttle of his childhood weft is traversing so quickly back and forth between parent and peers, home and experiences. The warp fibers have all been tenderly and securely strung across the sturdy frame of attachment, their presence now a matter of fact he trusts in without having to think about it. Because the loom is built from good wood and its workings are well oiled, the heddles raise and lower the warp fibers so he doesn’t have to climb up over and duck down under each one, but just moves forward with confidence, his progress unimpeded.

His growing tapestry is both strong and beautiful, and the brightly colored patterns emerging are a delight to my soul. The base colors are lush, suggesting mossy evergreen forests, ferns on riverbanks, farm fields, and oceanic depths across the entire spectrum of green. The layers of stone in gray and brown and tan as he digs more deeply into his interests form outcroppings that offset all the greens. Bright, musical turquoises and golds and reds weave in imaginative zigs and zags. Belts of white, yellow, orange, purple and blue have appeared at regular intervals, solid and sure. The geometric symmetry and complexity of patterns suggests a creativity unbounded by the limits of rational numbers. A red violet tracer strand is an unbroken constant, enfolded into the mix. The growing fabric lays evenly, balanced as a body of water between two shores. The weave is even and neither too loose nor too tight, ensuring the blanket of his childhood will drape comfortably about his shoulders as he wraps it about himself later in life.

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