Leaping


Well, it’s two days before V’s next driving test.  Naturally, she wanted to practice parallel parking again.  We got up early this morning and headed to the testing station before it got crowded.

“OK,” I said confidently.  “You’ve got this.”

“Uh, Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“Could you be the cone?”


“The what?”

“The cone.  So I know where I’m going.”

Wait, I thought I was the cheerleader.  “Which cone?”

She pointed and I got out of the car.  I smiled at a man who was instructing his granddaughter.  “It’s very hard,” he said, giving me a nod.

“Yes.”  I planted myself in the northwest corner of the parking spot and waited.    

Playing a cone doesn’t take much effort.  I let my mind wander.  I watched the girl and her grandfather.  I watched the clouds pass by overhead.  I watched a feral cat and her kitten, sleeping in the Sunday morning quiet of the parking lot.  I watched V circle around and line up the car, Squints sitting in the back seat, not whittling

The cat woke and cleaned herself.  Then she stood and walked away, leaving her kitten behind.

V executed a perfect parking job and then, upon exiting the spot, nearly ran over my toes. 

Yeah, playing a cone doesn’t take much effort.  But you do have to know when to leap out of the way.
* * *
Filibuster is spending the weekend at some wilderness camp on the top of a mountain.  Sponsored by her college, this is definitely an outdoorsy type of event with flashlights and cabins and industrial-strength bug spray.  No Facebook.  No cell phone.  No texting.  No IMing.  There is, in fact, no communication with the outside world.

What to do?

Well, they’ve got a fifty foot tower there, for daring people to jump off of and all sorts of ropes for climbing to dizzying heights.  The experience is supposed to encourage teamwork and getting out of your element.  It’s also, I suppose, a way to break parents into the idea that in just three short weeks, their child will be leaving home, more or less permanently. 

“Do you think it will be fun, Mom?” 

“I hope so.”  Filibuster isn’t one to jump from fifty foot towers.

“Do you think I’ll be OK?”

“Yes.”  I hope so.

“Well, even if I don’t jump, at least we’ll have s’mores,” she said.

And watching V swing around for another parking job, I wondered whether Filibuster jumped, or if she kept her feet planted on the ground, cheering on those who dared to try it while she stood and watched.  And I wondered, if she didn’t try, whether those s’mores tasted bittersweet in her mouth.  And I wished, as V pulled up beside me and put the car into reverse, that I could go back in time and tell Filibuster this before she left: There’s a time for planting your feet firmly on the ground and there’s a time for leaping.

V executed another perfect parking job and pulled out cleanly.  The kitten woke from its nap and ran after its mother.  I smiled and got in the car and together, V, Squints and I headed home.

I can't wait to hear about Filibuster's time.








read to be read at yeahwrite.me This was linked to Yeah, write.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Leaping

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leaping


Well, it’s two days before V’s next driving test.  Naturally, she wanted to practice parallel parking again.  We got up early this morning and headed to the testing station before it got crowded.

“OK,” I said confidently.  “You’ve got this.”

“Uh, Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“Could you be the cone?”


“The what?”

“The cone.  So I know where I’m going.”

Wait, I thought I was the cheerleader.  “Which cone?”

She pointed and I got out of the car.  I smiled at a man who was instructing his granddaughter.  “It’s very hard,” he said, giving me a nod.

“Yes.”  I planted myself in the northwest corner of the parking spot and waited.    

Playing a cone doesn’t take much effort.  I let my mind wander.  I watched the girl and her grandfather.  I watched the clouds pass by overhead.  I watched a feral cat and her kitten, sleeping in the Sunday morning quiet of the parking lot.  I watched V circle around and line up the car, Squints sitting in the back seat, not whittling

The cat woke and cleaned herself.  Then she stood and walked away, leaving her kitten behind.

V executed a perfect parking job and then, upon exiting the spot, nearly ran over my toes. 

Yeah, playing a cone doesn’t take much effort.  But you do have to know when to leap out of the way.
* * *
Filibuster is spending the weekend at some wilderness camp on the top of a mountain.  Sponsored by her college, this is definitely an outdoorsy type of event with flashlights and cabins and industrial-strength bug spray.  No Facebook.  No cell phone.  No texting.  No IMing.  There is, in fact, no communication with the outside world.

What to do?

Well, they’ve got a fifty foot tower there, for daring people to jump off of and all sorts of ropes for climbing to dizzying heights.  The experience is supposed to encourage teamwork and getting out of your element.  It’s also, I suppose, a way to break parents into the idea that in just three short weeks, their child will be leaving home, more or less permanently. 

“Do you think it will be fun, Mom?” 

“I hope so.”  Filibuster isn’t one to jump from fifty foot towers.

“Do you think I’ll be OK?”

“Yes.”  I hope so.

“Well, even if I don’t jump, at least we’ll have s’mores,” she said.

And watching V swing around for another parking job, I wondered whether Filibuster jumped, or if she kept her feet planted on the ground, cheering on those who dared to try it while she stood and watched.  And I wondered, if she didn’t try, whether those s’mores tasted bittersweet in her mouth.  And I wished, as V pulled up beside me and put the car into reverse, that I could go back in time and tell Filibuster this before she left: There’s a time for planting your feet firmly on the ground and there’s a time for leaping.

V executed another perfect parking job and pulled out cleanly.  The kitten woke from its nap and ran after its mother.  I smiled and got in the car and together, V, Squints and I headed home.

I can't wait to hear about Filibuster's time.








read to be read at yeahwrite.me This was linked to Yeah, write.

Labels: ,

11 Comments:

At July 30, 2012 at 5:53 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

What a perfect title for two great stories. LOL leaping out of the way! This is almost like a conscious stream of thought split between two subjects and then coming together. One of my favorites>

 
At July 30, 2012 at 6:10 AM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Aw. I hope Filibuster had a great time. And I have to say, when I was learning to drive, I don't think I would have been comfortable with a human cone. I did not have nearly that much faith in my abilities!

 
At July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Lynn A. Davidson said...

What a great post!

 
At July 31, 2012 at 5:10 AM , Anonymous Jamie Yap said...

Love the way you linked those stories together with one title. Great post, surely.

 
At July 31, 2012 at 5:12 AM , Anonymous jamie said...

Love the way you linked those stories together with one title. Great post, surely.

 
At July 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM , Anonymous Laura said...

Beautiful story. Beautifully written.

 
At August 1, 2012 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Belle said...

Just lovely and big kudos to you for playing cone. To this day (and I'm 31) my mother won't even ride with me, let alone play the cone. Cheers!

 
At August 2, 2012 at 7:35 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

I remember when I took my first driving test. I wasn't nervous at all, which in hind sight, probably worked against me. I was sixteen, but had been driving since I was 10. In my younger years, we lived in a very rural part of Tennessee with plenty of back roads and dirt roads, so it wasn't uncommon for my mom to toss me the car keys and tell me to go pick up something from the store. So by the time I was old enough to take my driving test, I was already driving like a veteran; switching lanes without a signal, speeding, rolling through stop signs, and with the full understanding that a yellow light means to drive faster. I passed my driving test with only 1 percentage point to spare. I was embarrassed, but also relieved that i wouldn't have to take it again.


Good read.


Michael A. Walker
Defying Procrastination

 
At August 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM , Anonymous Gina said...

I thought about your toes the second you "became" the cone! Glad it went well and she was successful. Hope the s'mores were good and she leapt if it was right but mostly had a great time. Going off to college changes family dynamics. It's never quite the same again.

 
At August 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous JeanElaine said...

Great writing, I love the way you took us there. I was so in your head. LOL

 
At August 4, 2012 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Tessa said...

The Cone? Ah no way would I trust anyone let alone my kid to use me as a cone LOL!

 

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