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Tuesday, 9.20.05:  My Peeps

We got home last night from a weekend in St. Louis to catch up with the family. I'm awake early this morning with the promise to myself to Get Organized around various projects. But a few images of the weekend stay with me...

Molly. In college after 5 years in the cruel working world. Coming to grips with her first team writing project. Realizing that her brain is more productive listening to classical music.

Becky. A mother at nineteen -- facing the world with new eyes. Her Gabrielle was premature and finally released from the hospital after too many weeks. Becky brought the little beauty by for oohing and ahhing.

Tom -- first-time grandfather, along with my mom and dad -- first-time great grandparents. Swelling of love and welcoming arms for the tiny surprise-package infant. My mother holds her close and hums the family lullaby "Daisy" to her. Gabrielle hums back. The bond is made.

Sam. In high school now. Trying to do his homework surrounded by "helpful" adults -- Sunday evening on the front porch. The Odyssey. Sam's first taste of literature that is too big for his brain. The pain of literature before one has lived. It's too bad we can't be assigned to reread the classics when we are about 50, when we might actually get the point.

Ellen and Kathleen. Pride in their children. Did I make the mistake of keeping the conversation on the kids and not appreciating their own work as women? There is never enough time for personal conversation.

John. Big smiles from this wise middle-schooler. A close observer of life's ironies.

Brendan. Carrying his sketchbook of fantasy characters, which each "started out as something else." I tell the 10-year-old the drawings are transcendent. Later, we have a conversation about the meaning of transcendence.

Patrick. High-school sophomore who has mastered the skill of turning anxiety into productive work.

Some dozens of Prices gather at the park on a rare sunny-cool-unhumid day for the annual family picnic -- an event with no apparent organization other than the rental of a shelter. I get reacquainted with my cousins even though I can remember only a handful of spouse names and have lost track of their children. Still they are comfortable to me -- mellow craftspeople who love storytelling. My peeps.





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