Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ice and Snow and 49

My birthday arrived with ice and cold. This is why, growing up in upstate New York, we had "winter break" always during Presidents' Day week. Somebody smart knew that it was better all around to head to Florida for a week in midwinter.

But I am loving this birthday week here, when everything is cancelled. No classes, no church, no swimming. Nowhere to go except snuggled under a blanket, puttering around in the kitchen, playing games with my kids.

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present than an unexpectedly quiet day, dinner with my family, the most beautiful words in a card from my daughter, and chocolate cake with very thick icing.

This is the kind of February I like.

Well, for a few days anyway. And then those daffodils can bravely attempt another blooming.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Every Week Is Pretty Much Like the Last One {Except}

This is the day of the weekly wrap-up, the what-we-did-in-school-this-week post. The fabulous crafts that tie in with history and literature and how we did nature studies on a cold, cold day and how we marked on the globe all the places we want to travel. And how we listened to classical music while we did all those things.

We used to do all of that and more. Now, every week is pretty much like the last week. My 17-year-old does her stuff. She comes out to chat every now and then. Maybe once a week, she'll ask me a question about her literature homework. She goes to her classes, goes to the coffee shop, goes out with her boyfriend, goes to Target, hangs out with her girlfriends, goes to Bible study.

My 14-year-old does his stuff with a little more input from me. Sometimes I sit beside him while he does his literature homework. Sometimes I make out a study guide for him for a geometry or science test. I remind him to practice guitar and read for 30 minutes each day. We read some history together and maybe watch a documentary. Now and then.

Every week is pretty much like the week before, except for these little reminders that keep appearing like annoying pop-up ads.

Like today, when we went to Target to pick up my daughter's yearly supply of contact lenses and I thought to myself, "Wow. These boxes will last her for a whole year. The next time we come in, she'll have been away at college for six months." Six months! Away at college!

Or when I get on Facebook and on the Graduation 2015 page, there is a reminder to "send your student's graduation gown order to Amy!" and "don't forget to pay the senior fee!"

Nothing really changes from week to week, except everything is leading toward this really big change.

We are winding down.

Once upon a time we were all about Legos and Barbie shoes on the floor, cartoons and puzzles and naps. Playdates and lessons, bickering and cuddling. Once upon a time we read aloud for hours every single day.

Once upon a time, I had three sweet bodies filling up every inch of this house, breathing the same air, discovering and learning and doing life together. And then one went away and after I stopped weeping, we adjusted and adapted and became this family of four—except on holidays, when we were five again.

And now we're headed again to a downsizing, whittling our family down to just one asking if we've seen his calculator or if we know where his science folder is or if he can get on the Playstation. Just one.

It's all been leading toward this, and we all know it. Even when we have sweaty, wiggly bodies on either side of us on the couch and when we think we will scream if they pick at each other one more second, we know that ultimately, they are leaving.

Just like they are supposed to.

{But I kinda wish these reminders would stop popping up.}

Linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up