Laurel and Hunter popped in late last night. Randy, Duncan, and I had found the perfect Christmas tree (full but not fat) and put up the lights a few nights ago, waiting for sister to come home so that we could put the ornaments on together. She was so surprised and delighted; she thought she would miss out on decorating this year. Her smile was totally worth the week of trying to figure out when, exactly, we three were free at the same time so we could get the tree and have it up and ready on Thursday night.
I listened and watched from my perch on the couch. Laurel sat beneath the tree, opened the ornament box, and pulled them out one by one. Because she is an organizer, she put them in specific stacks: Dad's outdoorsy ornaments, Mom's kid-picture ornaments, travel, homemade, artisan, etc. Predictably, Randy says, "Where are the icicles? Did Mom throw them all away yet?" and Duncan made a beeline for the Energizer bunny and the bacon. The plastic icicles, the plastic Energizer bunny, the bacon: the ornaments that torture Laurel and me each year, colliding with our vision of white lights and matching decorations. Truthfully, I wouldn't want our tree any other way. I love the mishmash of exquisite and ordinary, of artisan-made and child-made, of the big orange UT Santa and the delicate heart from Austria.
But back to this morning. Laurel and Hunter left early. They had over 3 hours to drive this morning to get to Appalachian State University by noon. Next year is a big question mark for all three of our kids: Jesse to law school, Duncan to college, and Laurel to graduate school. This is the first of her graduate school tours. Jesse should get his LSAT scores any day now, and those will help determine where he is headed in the fall. Duncan has narrowed down his choices to two of the three colleges to which he applied and was accepted. So we're all just waiting, watching, and weighing pros and cons.
It's an exciting time!!
I should be melancholy, I know. And I could be, if I let myself get wrapped in memories of mornings spent snuggled under blanket reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas with kids in pajamas drinking hot chocolate, or even when early mornings meant milk dripped on the table, Legos on the floor, and shrieks of "GIVE IT BACK!" rattling the windows.
I could really get melancholy when I look at these.
Just a few of Duncan's senior pictures. You know. My baby. Thank you to my dear friend, Donna, for these amazing photos. We've been in this together for a long, long time.
But I'm not melancholy, even though we are just wrapping up Duncan's next-to-last semester of high school. My next-to-last semester of homeschooling, which I've been doing for 19 years now.
But I'm not melancholy this morning. It's business as usual. A half an hour of "WAKE UP, DUNCAN!" He'll wake up, work on his German for awhile, work on his essay (an analysis of horror films), and then head off to work at Kroger.
No Christmas crafts around here any more, and I'm okay with that. No Charlie Brown's Christmas, no Rudolph, no Frosty the Snowman. I'm okay with that. I'm even okay with not reading any of the Christmas books that make me cry, because once I get started, I may not stop.
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