Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Grammar and the Metaphorical Hill

51 years ago today the world gained a syntax savant, identified throughout the years by various names such as Pussycat, Go-to-Your-Room, Sheljar, Lundi, Lovebug, Mom, and latterly, Grammar Moses. Grammar’s pappy, Solomon, sent her a lovely birthday poem which suggested that when I “cross over the hill”, he’ll “love me still”.

Oh, I have crossed. I have made it up the spring side of the hill, which is carved with measured steps but full of prickle-bushes and boulders, causing detours large and small. Many loving hands helped me navigate that slope to the summerlands atop the hill.

I found two babies on the spring side of my hilltop, and, setting them upon their own hills and showing them how to climb, I moved swiftly across my summer meadows. Reaching the far side, I looked back and saw my children nearing the top of their slopes, marching strongly with characters made fit and confident by the challenges of the upward journey and surrounded by friends.

So now I’m headed down the autumn side, and have discovered that it’s very different from the slow and winding upward trek. This slope is coated in slick, rainforest-damp moss and I’m on the bobsled to winter.

Well. All one can do is dig in one’s heels and enjoy the ride and the beautiful fall scenery as long as it lasts!

I’m moved to hillside metaphor by my own birthday, but also by VCCGirl, my younger and last baby, heading off this morning for her first day of college. As she drove away in her old red car, a bundle of nerves and anticipation, I clung to the doorframe to stop myself running down the street after her. No, wait! Mommy has to come with you! You won’t know where to park! You won’t know how to find your classrooms! The other kids might be mean to you! You were only in kindergarten a few days ago -- how can you be driving off to college????

I know I’m very lucky, though. I am lucky firstly that her college is 20 minutes’ drive from our house and at the end of the day VCCGirl will come back to me. I am lucky secondly (and indeed it is one of the greatest blessings of my life) that we have a close and confiding relationship, and VCCGirl will happily sit down with her old mom and share all her first impressions of instructors, courses, and potentially datable classmates. Although it may seem like a fall day outside, I’ll be reliving spring with my daughter. What a great birthday present!


Kate said...

Happy Birthday old girl! And hang on, don't go down that hill just yet, come over to this side path and we'll explore this nice plateau. The views are great!

Grammar Moses said...

Thanks for joining me in my metaphor. A side path and plateau sounds like a great idea -- I'll be right there!

solomon said...

Grammar and Katy: You are both poets. Delightful stuff to read. In another 30 years you may want to incorporate moguls into your hillside metaphor.

Rainey Day Knitter said...

Happy BD G!!
Moguls are exciting and a little dangerous..at this age we need to live on the wild side of the hill to feel alive. :D M