I am so proud of these kids. They worked so hard, each getting tons of academic awards and grants making it possible for them to get accepted to wonderful universities. Their running discipline has taught them endurance that pays off in many areas. Their work helping on the farm, volunteering here around Alpine, all the meaningful relationships, have been excellent means to prepare them for this next step in their journey.
To tell you the truth, my worries about how they will adapt are next to nothing.
That said, sending off these children who are growing into adult friends makes my heart tender. Ouch. Right about the time we grow able to converse about meaningful things, we are able to understand and appreciate each others differences, off they go. And I lose friends, not to mention amazing help!
I remember the last scene in Nanny McPhee, one of our favorite kids movies. Saying farewell is a tender thing indeed.
How will we manage, our new family dynamic? Rose and Nora and myself, with Thomas coming over several times a week for dinner and dishwasher duty in the bakery? I think we will manage just fine, and probably the girls and I will move into a lovely new way, more time to enjoy one another, less laundry, fewer shoes scattered around the house.
Holidays will become more and more precious as college kids come home and share stories and new philosophies and grand ideas and failures. And we will sit around the table and talk and talk and revel in the truth that family, even when scattered, is still family. We know each others stories, regrets and rewards and love each other deeply.
And just think! Someday it will be just me, and think of how much more time I will have for writing! (I realized a few months ago that my margin had been eaten up, my hours were filled up to beyond normal human capacity. The things that give me joy, like solitary hikes, gardening, writing, were having to be shoved to the side because I was overinvolved. All good stuff. Church leadership, work, friends, kids. I have taken up extra jobs. The bakery continues. I am so thankful that I have options and control over my life. I let go the leadership positions, some of the social stuff, sold the car, ride to shop and odd jobs on my bike, have taken up meditation, and am getting more rest. I am feeling better than I have in a very long time. Somehow that makes me think that writing will happen more naturally because it is definitely a sign of mental health and balance for me. I love the discipline that my monthly food column offers. It is fun developing seasonal recipes and rooting for the local food movement. But there is something about this blog community that keeps me grounded. You guys who read so loyally are amazing. The encouragement you give me is priceless. Thank you!!! More on the journey soon... )