made me cry.
I left to take an envelope that needed to be postmarked tomorrow to the post office, just to make sure. When I got out of our cul-de-sac and onto the street that pulls onto a larger and busier street, I looked left—which is east. I looked west, and the very end of the sunset was lingering on the mountains across the lake, but I looked left again because: the moon. It had just barely made it over Cascade mountain and was a wedge of just-barely-light behind the thinning clouds. I turned left and, as I drove east, the clouds disappated and there was the moon, full, and enormous the way it is when it first rises.
I have been heartsore lately. Perhaps this story explains why. Last week I was at the scrapbook store, waiting for some layouts to be scanned, and a woman in her late fifties struck up a conversation with me. She asked how old my kids were, and when I said I had three teenagers, she literally touched me. She put her hand on my shoulder and she said, with the greatest compassion I've felt from a complete stranger in perhaps ever, "Oh my. Three teenagers all at once. That is tough on your self esteem and on your soul."
Don't get me wrong. I love my kids with all my heart. I am blessed beyond measure that they are really great kids. I've always held the opinion that so long as they make it through high school without completely melting down like I did, we'll call that successful teenageness and move on, and I think we will achieve that. (Knocking on wood, crossing fingers, watching out for black cats and being wary of ladders.)
But adolescence is hard. It's hard on everyone, as what happens to one person in a family really happens to the entire family. I love them and I want them to be happy but I also desperately want to form a relationship with them that will last longer than the time they leave for college. I want them to want to have me in their lives but where I am, standing outside that wall that teenagers are so adept at building, it feels like they won't. That I will let each one of them fly away, but they won't fly back.
So: heartsore. And that moon, somehow, the way it grabbed the very last light from the sunset and seemed to melt the clouds with it, even though it was that cold, distant light the moon has—I don't know. I can't say how, or even why, exactly, but it made everything in me that was tight and quivering, dry and desperate, liquefy. It was that beauty is impartial; it exists in the face of misery or joy. It was that it was so far away. It was that it was light.
It gashed me open and everything melted out and all I could do was pull over and look at the moon and have a good cry.