Friday, June 22, 2012
The Quiet This Morning
I always feel a little melancholy come summer. My kids are off somewhere immersed in warm weather experiences, and I frankly miss them. I'm finally getting used to it. This summer, my soul didn't fight the shape of things quite as fiercely as in past years. A year ago at this time, our family was in possibly the worst turmoil we had ever experienced, and I was the one who provoked it, I was the one who roused the sleeping dogs, put the dire spin on a passing mood, and now I think that I didn't know what I was feeling, I was hollowed out by what was happening with my mom, and my children leaving, and I was looking for an external reality that might offer a reason for how bereft I felt. And so I created one.
A year later, we are okay. Our son has been home several times, and will be here again this weekend. My heart expands every time he walks through that door, and when I see him and his dad engaged in their usual goofy interaction. And this summer, when it came time to drive our girl to camp, my husband was determinedly relaxed about the time we would leave, and I was the one birddogging everything to make sure we left early enough to allow him to drive there and back during his preferred window of time. It was not lost on me that we had exchanged where we stood, each one remembering the lesson of the previous year and wanting to accommodate the other. We didn't make a big deal of it, or even act like we noticed. But I did notice. And I was moved by the love implied.
On the wall in the photo above: Pencil marks noting the height of my children, and of various nieces, nephews and friends, and the dates on which they were measured. We'll never paint over that wall. There are more than a decade of stories in those pencilled marks, children we love who would say before leaving our home, Wait, you have to measure me. How much have I grown?
How much have I grown? A lot, it turns out. While my house feels very quiet this morning, and everything is neat and in its place, a sure sign that our kids are not in residence, I am managing. I am not wallowing at the bottom of a pit, sucking the air. I am putting one foot in front of the other and giving thanks for the shape of things. This is where I am today.