It’s been a week, no months, of pushing and watching and questioning and wondering and flexing and letting go and accepting what is to be and flowing with it.
On Thursday, it began. Christian, my high school senior, came home early from school for our lunch date, but I had a work meeting. He went and picked up lunch for us and while I was working, he decided he was going to finally work on his college applications. I’ve been pushing and questioning and wondering and exploring and asking him to own this process since the beginning of summer. He decided that he wanted to go to community college and didn’t want to go through the college app process, and that he was happy with staying local. I accept my kids’ choices and yet I always push them to the edge and maybe over their comfort zone and I question their motivation and intention. I am okay with their decisions and I want to be sure they think through the costs and benefits and risks, every step they take. I ask the hard questions, set up challenges, and then give them space to own their decisions and the path they choose to take.
Well, on Thursday he decided he was going to apply to the University of Iowa and he decided he was going to fill out the application that day. While I was wrapping up work, he requested that I push my computer aside so that I could look over his online application on his laptop. Let me just say I was surprised and curious and supportive and perplexed and thankful and scared. I helped validate the form and gave my credit card number to pay for the application fee, all while wondering where did this come from? I was proud that he (finally) decided to begin the process before the almost deadline. We clicked send and then I wondered, “what if?”
Flash forward to today, when I was busy working again to put money away for the kids’ college fund, when I received a text:
And just like that, our thoughts have shifted and the opportunity is in front of us and we are thankful and curious and shocked and excited for the possibilities. Who knows what will come next, but for now I am thankful for the journey and know that whatever will be will be…and I am proud of Christian and wish him well as he navigates this next stage. Congratulations!! Be still my heart.
All these lemons came from the same tree, and this picture made me think of my kids.
You see I’m thankful that I have one large, one medium and one small one. As the two big ones are growing up and becoming more independent and less needy of me, I still have the small one to grow for a little while longer and this makes me very happy. Having the little one makes me remember that the big one was once small too and makes me even more aware that the little one is going to get bigger too one day, which makes me be even more present with all three of them. This is an amazing, little, magical gift of three.
Today the little one and I went to the craft store together to get stuff to make stuff. We like to make things together and I love that he is creative. He picked out a wood burning tool and some wood pieces to create some art, even though we were really going in the store to find neon, erasable white board markers that would show up on his metal black board. Luckily we found some of those too on the clearance rack.
And that’s my happily ever after story for the day. How was your day? Did you make lemonade from lemons today?
Oh, and P.S., This was my way of making lemonade out of lemons today…I was actually momentarily sad about the feeling of letting go and really knowing that my kids are growing up. There’s usually a back story to every happily ever after, isn’t there? Just sayin’
I tricked her. I went in her room while she was studying and said,
“Come out here and be with me, …and unload the dishwasher.”
Luckily she wants to spend time with me. She didn’t however like the idea of doing the dishes, but she did it anyway. I was getting ready to prepare dinner and wanted her company.
She retorted, “Let’s empty it together.”
She unloaded and handed them to me while I put them in their place. Then we switched without exchanging words because she was closer to the place the dishes belonged. We danced and flowed from dishes to conversations about our day, while we began to cut up fruit and prep dinner.
She cut. I boiled. She stirred. I chopped. She drained the noodles. I spiralized the zucchini and carrots. We go well together.
Afterwards, I sat down to relax. She followed me. We read and worked side by side.
She got up and decided she wanted to bake. I followed her back into the kitchen.
She baked. I admired. She shared. I tasted.
We all gathered in the small space together and I called for a group hug. They thought I was crazy. I know they are growing up but they’re still all my babies. So we hugged. In that moment. For a second, because they know their mom is crazy!
I am not really ready, but are we ever really ready?
Today we had our first official college tour with our oldest. We have visited several college campuses in the past, but have never signed up for an official tour. Today things felt real. We are aware that the time is near and it just feels weird and normal and weird.
My baby is growing up! Now if I could only slow down time. For now, I’ll just enjoy the moment.
We’ve been laid off.
Our oldest is now able to drive and has assumed our responsibility of getting himself and his sister to and from school and practice.
I still stand outside on the porch and wave goodbye, like I’ve always done, whenever any of my family members are walking, biking or driving away from home.
This week my son came home earlier than my daughter and he told me that he’d go back to pick her up, without me asking. I was expecting to pick her up. That felt weird to me and I had to let go and appreciate his offer. I was waiting for her text to tell him when it was time and instead he told me he was on his way and that he had already texted her. I was cut out as the middleman. Woohoo!?! I think.
I am appreciating having the gift of time back and lamenting that I am not needed as a chauffeur as often anymore. The good news is that when I do get to drive with them in the car, I appreciate and cherish the time together and it doesn’t feel like a burden. I appreciate the conversation within the closed confines. And when he offers to drive, I’m thankful to have time to relax or to keep on working.
Maybe being laid off isn’t so bad after all.
Another transition in the program of life. I’m all in and thankful for the help.
What transitions are you currently experiencing? Are you all in?
Tonight was the Sadie Hawkins dance and Juliana asked a friend to go with her.
It was fun to watch her get up the courage to ask someone and then watch her be excited and nervous up until the date. She made a poster inviting her date to go with her and was so happy when he said yes.
I helped her pick out an outfit and did her makeup and gave her some hair styling tips. My baby girl is growing up!!
We went shopping together for appetizers for her friends before the dance, and cleaned the house together.
While we gone, Charlie decided to decorate the house with streamers, signs and paper lanterns. He is very cute with this sappy stuff and I love it.
The kids were dressed in Surf attire to match the casual theme. They hung out for awhile before I dropped them off, fashionably late.
I don’t often feel amazed anymore by the newness of life, as I’ve been there, done that.
However, tonight I felt amazed while I straightened Juliana’s curly hair and helped to put on her makeup for her first formal high school dance. She looked gorgeous and grown up and I was amazed.
I was thankful that she was going with a great group of friends and that her friend’s mom graciously agreed to host a formal dinner for 11 girls and invited me to assist.
It was a beautiful evening and I loved seeing all the little girls dressed like gorgeous young women, looking very grown up, ready to dance and live it up. It’s their time to shine and they did. I was so happy to observe and to be part of their celebration, as a witness to time passing right in front of my eyes.
Life is good, even if my baby girl is really growing up after all.
We had a Friday Night Light High School football game tonight at the Levi Stadium.
I brought a car full of kids to the game and then they split up and sat with their friends. This made me slightly nervous and since the stadium was not nearly full and brought in a different crowd, I didn’t feel too nervous to let them go. I did feel strange being at the game by “myself” and yet soon found friends to join.
The irony was that as we moved around and found our own friends, Christian and his friend were seated right in front of me!!
I enjoyed joking with and talking with the boys and was really happy that Christian’s friend wanted to talk with me.
After the game, we all met up and walked back to the car again. I told all 6 kids that we should take a group selfie together and they didn’t oppose. Since I didn’t ask them if I could share their photo, I’ll have to keep the memory close with me.
Looking at the snapshot made me smile because my kids and their friends are awesome tweens and teens.
They were funny and grateful and kind to one another and nice to me too.
I enjoyed having the opportunity to share an experience together and that they were okay with me being around. I know I am supposed to let go and I am and maybe that’s why they’re okay hanging around because I let them just Be.
The teens are alright and I think I’m okay with them growing up, if it continues to feel like this.
Constant needs and demands will now occur before 8 am and after 2 pm. The house will stay organized and neat for greater periods of time.
Driving continuously around town between 8 am and 8 pm will slow down now with a few less trips.
Summer ends today according to our school calendar. We visited the doctor, made lunches for the teachers, bought new shoes and enjoyed our friends while making homemade pizzas and pretzels. We drove by the school to see the new class lists and went to summer practices. We ordered dinner in and will go to bed early in preparation for our big day tomorrow.
I am grateful for the time we had together this summer. It was a much more challenging year for me with the kids growing up and doing their own thing and needing me to be more of a chauffeur than a playmate. We still enjoyed each other however with less frequency as there were more demands on their time this summer. I am fully aware that they are becoming more independent and it’s a beautiful thing and challenging too as their adoring mama observes life changing in front of my eyes.
Life is good. I admire each of you and the gifts you each bring to this world. Wishing you all a wonderful new school year, filled with adventure and hard work and friendship, happiness, love and laughter.
xoxo Let the journey continue. We are so lucky! xoxoxoxo