See, this is where parenting gets tough, and not because he is halfway around the world, living on his own in a different country, without one person I know. But because this is when the memories come back, and you know you can never, ever return to that place.
Sonlight users no doubt remember that little early reader, Pompeii-Buried Alive! that comes with Core 1 or 2. We probably all made models of Mt. Vesuvius and poured in the baking soda and vinegar for a second's worth of foam. I can see that day. We were out by our garden, and it was a warm fall day in late fall. Jesse was about 9, Laurel 5, and Duncan just 2 or so. They were tiny and blond, and we spent every single day outside together. Together.
That is how I see it. In reality, I was probably exhausted. Duncan probably had a mouth full of sand from the sandbox and needed a nap, the dumb dog had probably run off, and Laurel may have had a door-slamming tantrum already that day.
Or maybe not. Maybe it really was like I imagine it: that we all waited with great anticipation for the lava to flow. I think I even remember adding red and yellow food coloring to make it an even more realistic orange. I can almost see the sun glinting off my daughter's hair, and Jesse's green eyes as he watched, always thinking. And I can almost feel Duncan's little sturdy legs, moving, moving, moving.
Regardless, there is great satisfaction in knowing that what he learned about so long ago with great interest is now happening to him in real life. Letting go isn't so hard: it's remembering that gets me every time.
And so this week, I put down my laptop and phone a little more, and really sat and looked at these two beautiful beings that are still here with me. My 16-year-old daughter sometimes curls up in the evenings next to me just to chat. I cherish that. My 12-year-old is at that age that sometimes drives me nuts—that in-between little kid and teen place—and I talked myself down because, you know, he's 12. And he's my baby. And pretty soon, he'll be 20 and in a different country.
And that's my week: living in the moment, savoring the sweet memories, and always grateful to have had and to have them at home.
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