It's over. Vacation, I mean. Sleeping in, staying up late to watch movies or HGTV (we're House Hunters addicts around here, are thinking of buying a place in Fiji...). SK has been furiously racing around tonight, checking and rechecking her bag. That bag's been weighed and repacked several times this week. She's leaving for her Jan-term in London tomorrow. London with a long weekend in Barcelona thrown in. Ah, to be young and traveling. The last couple of days she's been nursing a cold, so she'll be the one to blame if others wind up sniffing and sneezing at the other end of the over-the-pole flight to Heathrow. I hope she's not too excited to sleep tonight; the last thing she needs is to start the trip exhausted. And I'm hoping I'm not too worried to sleep. But my worries are more likely to keep me awake tomorrow night when she's actually flying. I'll feel much better when her plane's taxi-ing on the wet runway nine hours later. But she won't be pulling out her cell-phone..er, make that her mobile (since she'll be British for a month)...to let me know she's landed, so I'll just have to trust the old addage that 'no news is good news.' At least until she plugs in her computer.
Beve's off tomorrow as well. Off to work, I mean. He's a little more tired than he usually is at the end of a long break. The last five days at Spring Creek Retirement Community have exhausted all of us, including Grampie and Thyrza. We've worked like dogs, as the saying goes, though I think the saying's wrong. It seems to me dogs do a heck of a lot of sleeping! And not even Grampie was doing much sleeping these last several days. There was too much commotion going on around him, though I'll give him props (as our kids would say) for giving sleep his best shot. We, on the other hand, were moving boxes from study to living room to hallway to recycling bin. Then from living room to bedroom then back to study. Lots of boxes. 400 boxes. And I was sweating up a storm. Today I took a sleeveless summer shirt and flip-flops to change into in the sauna that is that retirement community. I used to have terrible circulation, until I got heat exhaustion a couple of times. Since then apparently my doctor thinks my thermostat has gotten all screwed up. Sigh! If my sweating's the worst thing, though...
So Beve goes back to work, SK goes to London. Oh, and J's moved out. Tonight he took the last of his boxes vacuumed out his bedroom, and drove off. Leaving me with a great space for a sewing room. And I'm definitely looking forward to that. Sorry to see him go, but it was time. Definitely time.
That's the point, isn't it? That time passes, seasons turn. For these last two weeks, with the kids all home, it was like they were still ours. But they aren't. They never were. And the time in which we had authority over them is passing as well. I was thinking (rather nostalgically, I admit) about the days when I was definitely smarter than my children, when my words, my arguments (!) were the definitive words with them. They were good kids, they rarely argued with me. But these days, as they've become well-educated, thoughtful adults, I often feel out-thought by my kids. That's where I wanted to get with them, it's what Beve and I set out to do--to raise adults--but I have to admit, sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes I wish it was a different season in my life.
And I watch Grampie and Thyrza, and know that they, too, wish for a different season. Wish the years turned back to when their brains worked better--more quickly!--and their limbs were steadier.
Maybe that's why chapter 3 in Ecclesiastes is included in scripture. (By the way, when I was first learning synchronized swimming as a child, I did a water ballet routine to that "Turn, Turn, Turn" song from the sixties, so every time I think of these verses, I hum them). We need reminding that seasons change, that time passes. I need to place my own chronology within the larger picture. For EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. This time, this season is for our kids to fly. In whatever way that is, however God intends, it's their turn to fly. And it's our turn to care, not for them so much, but for our parents, who cared for us. And someday, if we live long enough, our kids will watch their kids fly, while they take care of us. For everything... turn, turn, turn...there is a season...turn, turn, turn.