"Good writing is about telling the truth," says author Anne Lamott. "We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason they write so very little."
Frankly, I fear I may be part sheep louse. And here is why:
While I long to understand who I really am, and what THE TRUTH really is, in all honesty I'd been writing very little prior to committing to the 40 Days of Writing challenge (I believe this is Day 13). And as much as I've enjoyed the challenge of writing every day thus far, I realize that my writing muscle -- my brain -- is quite rusty. And my writing doesn't seem to be coming as easily as it once did.
Hence, I am worried that there is no way I will ever fully understand who I am or what THE TRUTH really is unless I continue to write more, and write more regularly after the 40 Days of Writing challenge comes to an end.
What do I really want to write about? What do I want to say? Hmm...
I suppose I could write about that crazed gaze I am noticing in the eyes of my friends who have sons and daughters graduating from high school in a few months.
Oh, how I remember that look of frantic contemplation, for it was only a year ago I saw it every time I glanced in a mirror. OMG! Daniel's senior year was about to wrap up, and Holy Toledo! There were financial aid and scholarship applications deadlines to meet, final sporting events and music concerts to attend (and sob through), a graduation party to plan...
Yikes-A-Roni! The PARTY!
Never mind that our only child was about to leave the nest and my heart was bound in giant knots at the mere thought of that. Truth is, I hadn't thrown a party since probably Daniel's 8th birthday and somehow I knew I couldn't just serve cake and ice cream and have everyone play video games at the local bowling alley.
And yet, my smug, no-nonsense mantra for years had been that high school graduation parties had gone beyond all practicality and reason... that no one really wants to look at 18 years' worth of someone else's child's memorabilia and pictures...that less is probably more, especially when it comes to graduation cake and mints.
In the 11th hour, of course, guess who adorned every available bit of wall space at the local picnic shelter with Daniel's stuff? Oh, yes, I displayed everything in almost perfect chronological order, from my first pre-natal ultrasound and a lock of hair from his first haircut, to his final track meet medal and mementos from every school/music/sporting event in between.
And because Daniel planned to follow his dream of becoming a movie director, we not only served traditional graduation cake, I insisted we order a second cake in the shape of a Hollywood movie camera. We served freshly popped popcorn so the picnic shelter smelled like the lobby of a movie theater. No traditional graduation mints for our Sonny Boy, heaven's no. Instead we filled bowls full of Junior Mints, Mike and Ikes, and other movie theater candy classics.
Confession: Although I swore I wouldn't, I fretted over if the table cloths were hanging evenly on the display tables, and obsessed over the movie-themed sparkly confetti, making sure it was distributed equally between the photos adorning the tabletops.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Clearly, in retrospect, I went a little whacko. Because that is what parents (more so the moms) of high school graduates often do.
So to all my "senior parent" friends out there, I say, be of good cheer! For herein lies THE TRUTH about high school graduation parties:
It's OK to go a tad whacko and throw practicality and reason to the wind when planning your child's graduation party. Some extra pomp, under the circumstances, never hurt anybody.
Sheep lice do not understand this concept, which is one reason their graduation parties, in comparison, seem so blah.