A week from tonight....

we'll be at the train station waving good-bye to our college-bound girl.

Waving good-bye.


Fortunately I will be following her nine days later, our van packed like Santa's sleigh, bringing the bulky essentials once her room for the year becomes available.

Where did the time go? Why did it go so quickly? Are we really entering into this new season of life?

Tonight I found comfort in this passage from one of my summer reads:

"I don't understand about anything," John said. "I don't understand about people dying, and I don't understand about families, about people being as close as we are, and then everybody growing up, and not having Rob a baby anymore, and having to go off and live completely different lives."

"But look how close Grandfather and I still are," Mother said.

John shook his head. "I know. But it isn't the same thing. It's not like when you were little."

"No," Mother said. "But if I'd never grown up and met Daddy and married him you wouldn't be here, or Vicky or Suzy or Rob, and we wouldn't be sitting up here on Hawk Mountain shivering and looking at the stars....."

We went home and then we just stood outside for a while. The moon was sailing high now, and the sky was clear above the black pines at the horizon ... I'd never seen such a startlingly brilliant night, the fields and mountains washed in a flood of light. The shadows of trees and sunflowers were sharply black and stretched long and thin across the lawn. It was so beautiful that for the moment the beauty was all that mattered; it wasn't important that there were things we would never understand.

Meet the Austins

While we were away visiting friends this weekend, we ate a fantastically delicious meal under the stars, accompanied by the quiet melody of the creek down below. Around the table were five of my favorite people, and we spent some time talking about our parenting experiences, some recent frustrations (underwear and computers...but it would be hard to explain), and, to be frank, complaining a bit. As we licked the thai chicken marinade from our fingers (wishing not to miss one smidge), the conversation quickly turned to the future. I think it all started with a joke, something about how we can train our grandchildren to leave items strewn in the walkway of the garage as a way of (finally) making our point. Don't worry -- it was a joke! The joke didn't last, though. Our fingers were not even clean before we realized that the future is coming fast enough; there is no need to wish it sooner. The house will soon be cleaner, the broken items will not break quite so often (they will still break because, Lord willing, I am a part of the future), but it will be so decidedly quiet. Q-u-i-e-t. And we got a bit misty-eyed at the thought.

All my mothering life I have determined that I would not wish the present day away. I know that each day has joys that tomorrow does not. Each day's troubles will be vacated in time for tomorrow's special brand of difficulty or confusion. Today is what I have.

And seven more days. To gather parts of home to make a new home up north, to sip tea/coffee and talk through plans, to listen to piano playing, to hear older and younger girls giggling together in the downstairs bedroom.

I plan to enjoy every single minute.

And I just might cry.

Because my heart is breaking a little tiny bit to know that life will never really be the same again.


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