Followers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's the end of an era...

Those were the words spoken by my brother as he helped disassemble the bunk beds my oldest two daughters had slept in for many years. The girls are gone now, off to college, exploring life as young adults. I am left with a room full of their treasures…memories from their childhoods. As I dug through their memorabilia, stuffing it all into boxes until a time when they can sift through it themselves, snippets of their lives flash through my mind. I carefully wrapped the Breyer horses given to them in Indiana on our 1997 motor home trip across the USA. The book and CD collection tell of their favorite authors and musicians. Movie stubs, ribbons won in art competitions, poems written with the passion of a teenager, all tell stories about my girls and who they are, maybe even hinting at who they will become. A bottle collection from Europe and Africa, loose pictures of friends and sisters making silly faces, prom dresses, fancy shoes and delicate wraps all passing through my hands bringing a smile to my face and a little sadness to my heart. It’s the end of an era…

I indulged myself and spent an hour last Saturday afternoon watching each daughter’s graduation DVD. Pictures put to music of their doll like faces in infancy and their chubby bodies in toddlerhood followed by the little girl and then the gangly pre-teen and finally finishing with the beautiful eighteen year olds. I allowed myself to cry. I am proud of them both, each unique, each individual. One is messy and one is neat all of their lives spent sharing one bedroom and yet they enjoy a close relationship as only sisters can. It’s the end of an era…

They often call on my cell phone, “Hi mom! What are you doing? How are you?” And as we chat my heart sings as I hear about their new classes or their new friends or their professors. Most often they call just to hear my voice, once in a while they call asking for advice. I’m their coach now, listening to their dilemmas, asking solid questions allowing them to think things through and come to a decision. And it’s their decision, not mine. Not quite a peer, I am, however; someone they acknowledge as having a little wisdom. I guess the “wisdom” is shown by the lines on my face. It’s the end of an era…

Their room has become the guest room now, soon to be filled, ironically, with a college student from a foreign land. After all I’m used to cooking large dinners and the stipend for the room and board is much needed. One of our younger two daughters eyed the room for a while, making plans of inhabiting it and decorating it to soot her tastes. But I insisted they continue sharing a room just as their older two sisters had, after all it will benefit them once they hit dorm life enabling them to adjust quicker and be tolerant of others. The younger two seem to be at odds more than the older two ever were. Maybe it’s the combination of red hair and strong personalities. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because the room once filled with the teenage paraphernalia of my oldest two daughters is now a crisp blue and white, clean and ready for that foreign college student who wants the adventure of an American family.

It’s the end of an era, but the beginning of another…

3 comments:

shana said...

Wow...what an exciting time for you. I maybe in a different season of parenting than you, (third child off to first time in preschool) but your words are encouraging. I actually got tears in my eyes. I will pray that all goes well with the new addition to the family. Blessings to you April.

allthatjazziness said...

wow mom, this blog brought tears to my eyes. you are a great writer, and always have been. thank you for passing that love on to me... This time in our lives is exciting, frightening and full of possibilities all at the same time : ) thank you for being there. I love you!

Lori Curran said...

April, I love reading your words... you have been such an inspiration to me throughout your journey with Josh. You have never once put the "face" on - the "face" that refers to the plastic, unrealistic definition of Christianity that some can portray (where you stuff your feelings and pretend that you're not hurting, confused or questioning why...), but you instead have chosen to show the real face, the one that says, "Lord, I don't always understand, but I will always look to You." And you have done so with extreme grace, always pointing back to your Savior. Thank you for your vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey - God is using them to draw His people closer to Him! (AND, those of us who are just a few steps behind you on the parenting path are taking notes!)