I promise this blog will not be a platform for talking about my kids, if for no other reason than, I promised them I wouldn't! They are teenagers, so of course anything their mom does is a source of potential embarrassment.
That said, this first post is about what else – my kids. How could I not! It's September. This is the time of year where thoughts automatically go to kids, and back to school. I even have memories of my long ago grade school years growing up Colorado. I associate Fall with a crispness in the air and that excitement -– anticipation of a new year. I remember the night before the first day: my new outfit laid out. Sleep was all but impossible, wondering what the first day would be like, would I make new friends, would my teachers like me?
But this September, there is no time to think of my long ago school years. I'm on a nostalgia trip of a different sort. While my 13 year old is going into 8th grade with the usual rush of last minute preparation, my oldest is off to college.
Cue the September Song. I can't carry a tune, but music is a backdrop for some of the big moments in my life. These past few days it's been Sinatra's "September Song." I can't stop wondering where the time has gone. I know it's one of the biggest cliches, and everybody warned me, as I now warn them..."one day they're in kindergarten, and the next thing you know, they are grown." Are you listening Tracey and Jim?
Cliches may be trite, but we rely on them for a reason – they often hold true.
It seems like it was just yesterday – ironically during the month of September, that I was struggling to come up with a name for my baby girl due in November. I knew she was a girl because doctors had recommended the battery of genetic tests since I was 41 and of "advanced maternal age."
In searching for a name, I kept returning to a book I had read the year before. Photograper Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, wife of the late Arthur Ashe, had written Daddy and Me, a tribute to the relationship between Ashe and his daughter Camera. Ashe was a hero in my household. On Sunday's as a child, I remember my dad after watching "Meet The Press," heading out to Denver's City Park to play tennis. He revered Ashe and I revered my dad. So I kept returning to the idea of naming my daughter Camera. At a time when there were a lot of Samantha's and Jasmines out there – I didn't know any Cameras. What stopped me was the fact that I worked in television and had actually created a stir by chronicling my pregnancy on television. Some accused me of having a baby for ratings – can you imagine! As much as I liked the name, and admired the Ashes, I concluded – "Camera maybe not." But close to Camera was Cameron, and immediately I loved it. Although it was more common for boys, it just seemed right. And when she came into the world, as all parents will tell you when they settle on a name, she looked like a Cameron.
So what is in a name ? Would you believe my child has a passion for photography? In school she received high honors for her beautiful videography. For her graduation gift, she wanted a fancy shmancy camera. And one of her tentative majors in college is film study. Would Cameron, by any other name, have a gift and love for photography – we will never know. What I do know is that she is happy pursing her "Camera" interest, and that may, or may not, change. I also know she is fortunate to attend a great college at a time when fewer than 1 in 100 young people in the world get the opportunity to go to college. And as this picture shows (sorry unlike my child I am not a gifted photographer) as she stepped inside her dorm room she is supremely happy.
So no more September Song. Time to cue "Earth Wind and Fire's," "Dancing in September!"
Almost more than telling stories, I like hearing them. So tell me the story of how you arrived at your child's name? Or how did your parents come up with your name? My BFF is named Marilyn Monroe. As a black woman of a certain age... you get my point.