I sit just beyond the family room in an office filled with boxes. I listen to the voices of my thirteen-year-old and his two friends. I can't hear the content of their conversation just the wonderful intonation of their changing voices.
They laugh. They tease. They debate. They are three boys on the verge of becoming men.
I love being in close proximity to their spirited conversation. They are so alive.
I took them to lunch and they ate huge burritos. They'll be hungry again in moments.
In twenty minutes I must leave to pick up my 16-year-old from school.
This is my day. For a moment I pretend that I resent the confinement to 'their' schedule. But I can't lie, not even to myself, I love the rituals, the blessed children "hangin' " at my home. What will I do without them?
A text, a quick phone call, perhaps a video chat--that is what the next phase will be.
Will I survive the quiet and the endless hours of my time? Will I sit and write and become a recluse? I fear this a bit. I have a tendency to 'hole up' when the world outside feels too frightening.
I like to think I will be dreaming of something to look forward to--a special trip, an opera, a show on Broadway. But will I continually want to share these experiences with my children?
Life keeps on moving. I am so acutely aware of this right now. The end seems closer than the beginning. And I have the wisdom to know that I can't control this, but not the fortitude to be at peace. Not yet. I'm working on it.
I received a call this morning from a friend who just returned from touring colleges with her eldest son. A text this afternoon informed me of another friend's college tour with her eldest daughter. I knew both these kids when they were five. Soon these mothers will send their children off to college. What then?
At times the letting go feels right, appropriate. Other times, it feels like I am living in a parallel universe. One thing is for certain. We cannot predict the things that await us. We must hope or pray to have the courage to accept the challenges with grace and dignity and little bit of 'piss and vinegar' as my mother would have said.