Both of my kids left for college on Sunday. This is the third time I've gone through the experience of moving my kids from one home to another for a year away at school.
The first year, it was my son who left. When your firstborn leaves the nest, it is a sad day, a day you never imagined would arrive as quickly as it did.
Last year, my daughter joined him in flight, leaving our nest completely empty except for our two dogs. Having BOTH kids gone was an adjustment I was dreading.
This year, as the kids packed up to leave, I was sad, but not as sad as I've been in years past. Having made this extreme adjustment before -- from a house of four to a house of two -- I knew I would get through it. Afterall, I had survived this adjustment twice already.
My first day without the kids living here I spent the day cleaning: washing the carpets, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, and gathering up old clothes to take to Goodwill. Getting the house back into order brought me comfort for some strange reason. It reminded me that last year when both the kids left, I found my way into a new life, a life that included the house only getting as messy as I made it, date nights with the hubby, and not having to share the hot water, the car, or the washing machine.
A life that I kinda....liked.
I guess my massive cleaning efforts yesterday were my way of ushering out one way of life for another.
And you know what? It was okay. I was okay. My kids were okay. And we will all be okay again this time.
like a thought (why did I come in this room?) a laugh (she said what?) a scene (seven cardinals at the feeder) a scent (lilacs in bloom under the bedroom window) a sight (the sun dipping low in the evening sky) a sound (soft whimpers escaping the dog's dream) an action (a secret smile when he saw her) a moment (walking out the door for the last time)
When I taught my 4th and 5th graders how to use prefixes and suffixes to increase their vocabulary and decode bigger words, we learned that 'ab-" means away. I liked to teach my students to use Memory Minders, small tricks to help us remember what something means, and our Memory Minder for the word part 'ab-' was actually the word 'absorb,' to soak something up and away.
When I am ready a really good book and don't want to stop (to do something trivial like sleep), I wish I could put the book under my pillow and have my mind absorb its words overnight. Soak all that information into my head.
When I am practicing being mindful, I am trying to absorb all that is happening right at the moment. Trying to soak it all in.
For some reason, when I give the dog a bath, her fur does not absorb the water. It runs right off of her.
The wind was howling through the screen door in the kitchen the other afternoon and blew over the vase of flowers that Jeremy had given me for our anniversary. Water was running everywhere because the towel I was using did not want to absorb the water. Paper towels were more absorbant and did the trick.
Lilac I round the corner of the house and without looking, I am 100% sure it has finally blossomed. The lilac bush. It's sweet, dense scent wafts through the air, tickling my nose, reassuring me that yes, nature has come back to life. I pick a few blooms for Mom so she knows this too.
Peony The bud starts out the size of a jawbreaker Tiny and hard, but holding a treasure within. Days and weeks of spring sun pass And the tiny jawbreaker grows into a gumball stuck to the end of a stick. The ants go to work. Then bud bursts open Revealing a pincushion of petals, the color of bubblegum. I pick a few for the table bringing nature's treats inside.