Monday, August 16, 2010
It's that time of year.
We have been so busy. Lots of hay was made. There's all of it yet to haul in. It seems every single day of summer has been full to the brim. It went by so quickly and here we are near the end of it already. This past weekend we decided it was time to celebrate the end of summer, so to speak. The FourthBorn was packing up and getting ready to go back to college. This is the LastChild's final year of home school and the cousin who stayed with us a week for his Last Hurrah before school starts, had to go home. So we decided to have a barbecue while everybody was still around. Country ribs with homemade barbecue sauce, fresh corn on the cob, salads, ice cream cake and brownies, lemonade and iced tea made for a good celebration meal. The grandparents came, the kids were all here (minus one), we played croquet in the yard and visited. We told jokes and laughed and in the evening we roasted marshmallows over the fire pit coals. It was a great day. Then. Everybody left.
This morning at 7:30 the FourthBorn and LastChild left along with the cousin. And not long after that, Hubs left for town to do errands. I was home alone. Normally, I really like being home alone. I enjoy puttering around, doing the things I want to accomplish and not having to worry about stopping in the middle of a project to get a meal and then clean it up. But today felt different. I went about picking up all the things left behind from yesterday's fun -- the croquet set, the campfire forks, lawn chairs, the extra leaves for the table, sheets to be washed, dishes that didn't make it into the dishwasher. Then I moved on to tidying up. I vacuumed and emptied garbage and went to FourthBorn's room and found it so bare and hollow. Everything was gone except for the bed and a few pictures on the wall. I cleaned in there, moved the bed and vacuumed and decided to wash up the comforter and bedding. I've been in this situation before -- the situation when one of the kids moves out to go to college or leaves home to find a job. It always leaves me hollow. When the FirstBorn left home I cried all day long and many times through the next week. It got a wee bit easier with the other children, but the same twinge and the same hollowness always came back for a little while each time it happened. Then I would begin to count my blessings and the hollowness would go away.
Parenting is such an amazing thing. You look forward to it. Then you become one. Then you don't know what you ever did before you were a parent. You lack sleep, much sleep. Later on, you wonder why God made 11 year-olds and think that that year should be a parental sabbatical year. The teen years you realize what interesting people you are living with and how quickly independence is creeping in between you and your child. Soon enough, they leave home and you wonder why it's so easy for them and why it's so hard for you. But we raised them to one day fly on their own. To be independent. To fledge the home nest and begin new lives of their own. It's the way it's supposed to be.
I live in a part of the country where all four seasons are very distinct and each has its own unique gifts. It seems to me that when one season begins to fade away, the soul longs for it to last just a little longer, but ahead is a whole new season with its challenges, its anticipations, and its blessings incomparable to any other season if I will only embrace it and live it to the hilt.
"Wherever you are, be all there.
Live to the hilt every situation
you believe to be the will of God."