I want it all, for your sakes.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last evening, as the sun went down on the Main Line mecca, Wayne, I claimed an outside restaurant table with a former student and shared a glass of wine.  You'll meet her through her words next year, when Handling the Truth comes out, but last evening she was all mine—bright, succeeding, independent, adventurous, the sort of daughter and sister who would make any family proud.  Certainly she makes this professor proud.

I returned home to a late meal prepared by my husband and to text messages from my son who had completed his first day at the new job and was ecstatic.  I am so happy here, he wrote, and what parent is not made whole by those words?

I don't know when it happened to me, but somewhere along the way the horizons changed, the coasts, the possibilities, and I now look back toward others who stand just ahead of their dreams.  I am moved by youth.  I remember, sift, and sort it.  But it will not be mine again.  I have used up some chances and smudged some lines and achieved a few spare things while not achieving many others.  I have let my own self down, or not lived up to my potential, or not risked enough, and all that, far more than age, marks me.  All that delimits me.

So that my greatest happiness now is what glimmers for the young people in my life—my exquisite son, my tremendous students, my friends' sensational children, my cherished young friends in publishing, and those of you who, just setting out on this life, visit this blog telling your stories. I want no smudged lines for you.  I want the rewards that come from risks for you.  I want more than a few spare things.

I want it all, for your sakes.


Serena said...

You are too kind, and I'm sure there is more time for you to take risks and reap more rewards for you...think of all the rewards you receive just from teaching the young writers!

Melissa Sarno said...

I think you stand ahead of many, many more dreams. This is a moving post- tears on this hazy, damp morning.

Heather Leah said...

Thank you, Beth. Your words always move me, and this morning they have moved me to tears. They have moved me to not believe in myself in my dreams but to know the dreams coming true are the next logical step in my life.... They are me.... No more blurred edges, no more hiding. You and your words inspire me in all ways. Thank you, thank you.

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