we already know what happens to those caterpillars

Most of the time Tucker is reading a book. Or twelve books. Tonight it was the enormous encyclopedia of caterpillars from the coffee table. Tuck is full of facts, so confident, so certain about everything, so convinced there is a right and wrong, so positive he knows one from another. He is also, admirably, open to everything he doesn’t know, lingering comfortably in all the gray space.

At his spring recital it was clear that Tucker is becoming a well-trained pianist. More than one (mostly unbiased) audience member pointed out that Tuck not only knows which notes to hit, but he is also beginning to make the music his own.
His teacher seems to be an expert at knowing how to differentiate between challenging a child and asking too much of him. I feel like I could benefit from a lesson on that.

Tucker learned to ride a bicycle this summer. It's just something he's never been inclined to try. I pushed a little, and he grudgingly gave in. We headed out midday, while Hank napped, me hunched over and sweating, him pedaling furiously and finding balance. It didn't take long for him to catch on, and he had the best time keeping up with the big kids at the recent block party.
Tuck has a new piano piece assigned for practice over the summer, ambitious with alternating hands. He began with just the first few measures, and then moved on to the whole first page. He can get all the way through the song now, not without some minor glitches, but he performed it twice for company this past week.
He is still, mostly, too carefree to spend much time analyzing mistakes. That doesn't mean he isn't learning, isn't trying to improve his skills, just that he doesn't perseverate.  I could use a lesson there, too: It's okay to share things with people before they're perfect; things might never be perfect.

He made a poor choice at the pool last week, and came to me with guilt written all over his face. I'm so sorry, he whispered, clearly remorseful. I mess up too, bud, I responded, wishing hard I could absorb it all on behalf of him, and trying best to communicate both my appreciation for his honesty and my complete faith in his ability to handle any thing.

Tucker has handled so many things. I'm not sure which of these forced me to consider the essence of some recent transformations, but I do want to honor the moments when Tuck takes a further, substantive step toward becoming a bigger, better version of himself.
Turns out gradually letting go of the back of the bike is a good place to watch wings spread. I hope he sees himself the way I see him.

1 comment:

rht said...

Tucker is suddenly older... overnight camp away... biking off with friends... already beginning to struggle with that cocoon.