This summer, my youngest daughter is working as camp counselor
She’s gone ten weeks, living in the Oregon woods June through August.
That means that for the first time in decades, I’ll be without kids.
When I was young, I was in a very great hurry to get going in my life and experience all things adult and independent!
So I took on kid raising pretty early on.
My path was that of the Householder: I didn’t have the years of travel or world exploration that many did. Instead, I spent my early adulthood raising one, two, three, four kids, with all the learning and growing that being a mother provides.
Now… that long, full, rich passage is over.
My older kids have headed out into the world, my youngest will go soon, and I’m already in transition.
Many of you have made or are making this transition, and you know the story:
After years of driving a car full of other people, suddenly it’s just you. After years of having a schedule dictated by early school mornings and late afternoon activities, by lunch packing and dinner making and grocery shopping and laundry doing, suddenly your schedule is opens up.
The house, once so noisy, chaotic and full, now seems quiet as a church.
It’s a funny thing… when we’re in the midst of our own childhood, we think it’s going to last forever… we might even daydream about when we can leave and get started with our lives.
When we’re in the midst of the Householder path, raising kids from birth to adult, , we know it won’t last forever. Yet when we’re in the eye of the storm, it sure feels like it.
It can take us by surprise, to realize that both of these passages: being a child, and raising children, will end.
Suddenly, we are no longer taken care of by others.
Suddenly, we are no longer taking care of others.
Not everyone has children, or has this particular passage of empty nest.
But everyone experiences transitions, the times when one thing changes to another, and you see it coming, and then it does come, and suddenly everything is different and never, ever to be the same.
Breathe. Trust. Breathe some more.
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