Well, I sent my 3 “at home” kiddos off to school last week. It is always bittersweet to send them back out into the world, into someone else’s care for a large portion of the day, praying that those teachers and administrators will recognize the trust put in them not only for their learning, but also for their safety. I enjoy the time here at home with a little less noise and activity, but miss having them here, with me, safe. I am always a little conflicted, are you? I hope I am not the only one. I love having a prayer with the high schoolers at 5:30 am and giving a hug and a good bye, and then again with my little guy, John, my first grader at 7:30am. He still gives uninhibited hugs and kisses and I love it. They all get sent out into the world with God’s protection and watchful eye and part of my heart. Then at the end of their day, I am so happy to see their faces, tired, flushed from the heat, glad to be home. Hellos at the end of a day are so nice. Welcome home, I’ve missed you.
It is “good byes” and “hellos” I have been pondering on lately. How wonderful it has been this summer, saying hello to all or our children and their families over the course of the hot months. We’ve been blessed to spend time with them all, loving grandkids, playing evening games, talking of futures and laughing at pasts. Then at the end of wonderful visits, the inevitable good bye must come. I am not so good at the goodbyes. I hate them, in fact. Probably because I am the worst phone talker in the world, all of my kids will attest to this fact. I recognize it as a fault, and I should add this area to my list of things to improve upon, someday. But for now, they know this about me, they don’t take it personal and they love me anyway, something I am very grateful for. That being said, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about each child, their family, their situation, their lives, and pray for their needs and righteous desires to be met. I wonder about the little grandchildren and what they are learning and interested in. I just am so grateful for each of them and the friends they have become in my life. I really do not have a social life outside of our family. And I am totally comfortable with that, because they are wonderful.
It is with a full heart I end my summer of family and begin this school year. Goodbye to Jimmy and Natalie, just starting out fresh, with goals and plans and hopes and dreams for your new family. Good bye to Chrissy and Cameron and little ones after a visit to their lovely home in Oklahoma, goodbye to Sarah and Kenny, I will miss her baby bump growing and her face becoming more radiant. Good bye to Alex and Sarah Jayne and little kiddos who are off to face a pretty Idaho fall, then the long cold months. Goodbye to Mandy and Derek as Derek buckles down again and puts his mind into medical school until his break at Christmas. Good by to my little kiddos headed off to school, Lizzie, Sam and John, out in the world. There is a bright “hello” on the horizon. Luke Thomas will be joining in the bunch in November as he and Jenny, my little bird, will be married, with stars in their eyes and hearts full of love, we move forward and plan for their future.
My best friend in our little neck of the woods, Stephie, is moving. Far away, like 18 hours in the car, far away. She and Brad and their family have spoiled us by living here, close, for 3 years. They’ve added Sawyer and Baby Flossie to their/our family, joining Jackson while here. I am so happy for their family, for it is a wonderful career opportunity and they are moving to a beautiful part of this country. So it is a great thing. But, again, the conflicted feelings come in. The “Hello” we enjoyed 3 plus years ago, must now be a “good bye”, or at least a “so long”. So I am sad for me, and for the “at home” kids, for, as Professor Higgins might say, we’ve grown accustomed to their faces. They have become important parts of our day to day lives, seeing each other at least once a week, usually more, and those times together are fun, happy, silly, comforting times. So, I will add the beautiful area of Syracuse, New York, to my list of places I get to visit, and be positive, and look forward to “hellos” there.
I am so grateful for all these children I have truly been blessed with, their spouses, their children, their personalities, their understanding, their comfort most of all for their love and friendship. It is you, my little ducks, and my sweet Tim, I am most grateful for. I pray every “goodbye” will be followed with sunny “hello’s”. Not that I am a huge Jimi Hendrix fan, but I do love this thought:
“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again.” ~Jimi Hendrix