At Charlie's spring concert last Wednesday, one of the classes of high school students sang the first verse from 'Camelot,' the Lerner and Loewe musical that is sometimes (accurately or not) seen as a symbol of John F. Kennedy's presidency; of what might have been achieved. The first student who performed did most of the first verse:
A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
Hearing these words---about a 'congenial spot' that's perfect to live in, so perfect that hopes it might exist forever---I felt a heavy dose of wistfulness.
There were moments when Charlie was much younger when things would seem to have reached a certain level of stability, an even keel, a 'just right': When we'd found a school that he was happy in and that accommodated his needs. When he was having minimal behavior trouble there and at home. When we were able to do all kinds of things from eating in restaurants to walking around New York to flying to California on a non-stop flight.
(Well, to be honest, I never found any of those flights idyllic, but that was at least partially because airplane travel for 6 or 7 hours was tough for Charlie and for anyone in general.)
At those moments, I'd feel like I wished we could just bottle up the moment---that beautiful happy gold-bright on Charlie's face as he beheld the ocean waves, or showed off how well he could ride his bike to a documentary film crew---and keep things that way always. Of course, reality would arrive in the next few seconds and I'd then think, ok, so we can't keep things like this forever, but can't we retain some of it?
A lot of these musings were tied up with the pang I felt in seeing Charlie getting older and bigger.