Recollections on a Midsummer Night
Dear Homeschooling Friends,
Tonight just feels special, like the dark is waiting in quiet anticipation of some new and important development tomorrow. I remember feeling this quiet excitement - much more strongly than tonight - almost 5 years ago. My mom was very pregnant at the time, and we were all getting eager for "The Day" to come. I remember how we sat at the dinner table longer than usual that evening, talking and laughing. Somehow, I felt really happy just to look around the table and see such familiar faces. Now it almost seems as if I sensed that our family would never be quite the same again, and I was enjoying the last dregs of that chapter in life. I must have been almost 15 at the time.
Those years really challenged me. Looking back, I get the sense that from 12 to 16 years old I fought a sometimes-losing battle to keep myself from losing myself. I almost lost sight of who I was. I guess I’m still recovering from that war, even today. I know we all have struggled or are struggling, or will struggle at around that time in life, but I still think my struggle lay between stronger goods and stronger evils than many people. It was hard. As I said, I still feel like I have battle scars from that change in life. I suppose many people don’t notice as much of the change and struggle going on inside them because they never struggle. But struggling has always proven itself the wise choice for me. It has also proven itself the painful choice.
So, that was me in some vague way, sitting at the dinner table 5 years ago. I knew something would happen soon. I even said so out loud. Probably no one in my family remembers it (or will acknowledge that I knew something none of them sensed) but I said, "I think the baby will come tomorrow."
We did the dishes and everyone went to bed, but I felt too full of nervous excitement to go to sleep. Instead, I sat down at our computer and designed this weird-looking guy in a 3D graphic art program I liked back then. (Art and computers really interested me, and they still do now.) This guy looked a little like a superhero, so I decided to make him kick and punch and tilt his head in an animation. I got so caught up in making my weird superhero guy thrash around (his arms and legs and head looked like they would fall off his body) that before I knew it, the clock struck 4am. Like a guilty dog, I slunk upstairs to my room and went to bed after reading a book, probably around 5am.
Two or three hours later, my dad woke me up. Through my bleary eyes, he looked a little like my superhero guy. He wasn’t kicking or punching, but he was tilting his head and smiling in a most unnatural way. "Ben, wake up! Ben, are you awake?" he whispered loudly.
"I think so."
"Good...can you get out of bed? Mom thinks she’s going into labor!"
And so it was that my little sister came into the world, kicking and punching just like my weird superhero-looking guy. Now that she is almost 5 years old, just like Shirley Temple is 5 years old in one of her movies (my sister emphasizes that fact because she has been watching a lot of Shirley Temple lately) I have to admit that she looks nothing like that creation of mine. But, she certainly is a beautiful creation, and she still punches and kicks me – all in fun, of course.
Well... I don’t really know where to go from here! I guess that was the memory that first came to my head to write about. And, no, it isn’t the night before my sister’s fifth Birthday, either.
It is time for me to get some sleep, however. This way I will be less sleepy if anything really important happens tomorrow.