I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I last wrote an entry for this blog! How is that possible? Well, I went to San Diego for a few days to receive some of our household goods in to our new home out there. And that was exhausting. Flying coast to coast is no picnic. Not for me anyway. But I was happy to get our stuff in the house. We still have plenty of room, which is good because we still have a bunch of boxes and some furniture coming from another shipment that is currently in storage in Virginia. Hoping to get the shipping of those crates coordinated soon.
I came back from California and I promptly had lunch with a friend and then drove back to Maryland to be with our grandkids and their mommy! I got to spend the night since their dad was out of town. It was wonderful. Then I drove back up more than once to spend additional time with those munchkins and their mommy. We will not get to see them every week or more once we make the big move across the country. So I take advantage of every opportunity while I can.
I am happy and grateful for every minute with them. And for whatever time I can get with my daughter, too. It wasn’t that long ago that she and her brother were the center of my attention and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could before they left us for college and then life as full-fledged adults after that. There was a definite period of mourning involved when they left home after high school. Although it was different with the two kids. With our daughter, who was the oldest and so giving us our first experience with that transition from childhood to adulthood, I could not imagine what life would be like after she moved out. Or, more to the point, I could imagine, but I tend to go off in scary directions when I imagine, rather than into great hopeful scenarios! I suppose it’s human nature, or at least certainly is mine, to think the worst.
But, thankfully, though she did have a few struggles with health issues and insufficient funds, my worst fears were never realized and we have a great young wife and mom in our lives now who also happens to be our daughter. She is someone I would love to know if we weren’t related and I think that’s the best thing I can say about her.
And then, four years later, her brother left home. But in his case, he had been so miserable his senior year of high school in a civilian school after moving back from 4 years in Germany in smaller schools with other Mil affiliated kids, he could not wait to move out into the world. He couldn’t wait to start fresh with all of his peers instead of being the “new kid” for the ninth time in his academic career. And he would be treated as an adult which he desperately wanted, as so many young people do. I missed him terribly, but my fears for him were different because he was going to the US Military Academy at West Point. So I prayed about a whole slew of unique West Point “Plebe” experiences though, once again, I had a good imagination, by which I mean a vivid imagination that thought of all sorts of terrible scenarios. I think that’s pretty impressive having never attended a service academy! I know some unpleasant things came to pass, though nothing life shattering. And most of them were only making him into the compassionate, accepting young man he is today.
In both cases of my son and daughter, I am just so very grateful to God that we got through those tumultuous times together, always connected at the heart and through prayer and continuous thoughts about them. Even when they weren’t thinking about me.
But then, of course, life goes on and there are new situations that they will encounter, from college life, to single life, to married life, to having kids of their own. Our son and his wife are not there yet, but it is on the horizon! We have three precious grandchildren that our daughter and her husband have provided us. Blessings, all!
I try to tell our daughter that this time with little ones will fly by and not to blink or they’ll be in middle school or high school and then she’ll be the one worrying as she sends each of them out into the ‘cold, cruel world.’ But you have to experience that for yourself. No one can truly explain to you how the passing of time works, how quickly it speeds by even if, at the moment, it seems like it’s terribly drawn out and arduous.
I have two granddaughters and one grandson currently and they are each an amazing child of God. All of us are, but there’s something special about grandkids. If I could, I’d share with them the best way to go through life. But I didn’t do that with my own kids so I certainly don’t have the ability to do it with their kids! But I think the best advice I could give is, trust God. That’s it. Simple to say, but oh so hard to practice and hard to really explain because you learn to trust God through experience. And, try as we might, we don’t get to shelter them from the rough patches. But that’s where we most readily find God, in the depths of loneliness, sickness, emptiness, indebtedness, brokenness.
Those are the things that, to paraphrase Tevya, the protagonist in “Fiddler on the Roof,” bring people to God. It’s stuff you don’t want to wish on your worst enemy or your worst enemy’s kids, but it’s probably going to happen at some point. And maybe even more than once. So, I trust God to take care of my husband and me, and to take care of my own adult children, their spouses, and their children, too. You have to be grateful for the good and the bad; it makes us who we are and, with faith, hope, and love, God brings beauty from the ashes.
There’s a great song by contemporary Christian singer, Mia Fieldes, called “Fearless.” I wish I could get the message from that song to resonate in the minds and hearts of my kids, my grandkids, heck, all kids. Jesus never promised us smooth sailing. But He did promise to be with us always. “You surround me. I am fearless,” sings Mia. Just another way of saying, “Trust God.”