SK left in a flurry this morning. I stood in my bathrobe, beating back tears, as she drove away in her white Subaru loaded with a school year's worth of belongings, ready for whatever awaits her across the state where she goes to college. She returns excited to see friends, ready for the challenges of classes, with great hope for extra-curricular activities. Her car is full, but I think her plate is already fuller from what she's piled on from the smorgasbord of opportunities from behind that 'pinecone curtain' where she lives. But that's the way our SK has always functioned best. Give her a little to do, and she'll handle it, maybe at the last minute. Swell her load until it looks like it will topple her and she stretches to handle it all with grace and joy. It's just the way she's made.
I love how she's made. I love that she came home this summer, lived her graceful, accommodating self in the midst of the wildness that was our lives. I love that she extended that grace to V, who didn't give it back, but SK just kept extending it--driving her places, doing things for her, fixing food for her. I love that SK's friends, even the non-Christian ones, recognize that she's the most compassionate, accepting person they know, that she doesn't waver on her own ethics but extends grace and mercy to others, especially those who don't know Christ. It makes them ask her serious questions about what motivates her, who this Jesus is who makes her love as she does. They see Him in her. I love this.
I ache that this summer was something of a disappointment to her, that our home wasn't the sanctuary it might have been, that the dream internship job she'd been promised last summer withered away into three short week-ends of grunt-work, that her absence during the school-year meant her place wasn't kept on the worship team at church. These disappointments for her are disappointments to me. But, in her inimitable way, SK handles her disappointments better than I do. I can be a mother bear about them, snarly and ready to pounce. I've always known those hardest to forgive are those who hurt my children...
And of course I'm sad that the summer was so short with her. I walked back in the house, laid on her bed and had a good cry. She was so present just a second ago, the scent of the body mist she sprayed still hanging in the air, but now her absence is all that's left. I miss her already.
But Sunday's coming. And E is flying home.