Today I thought maybe I'd give you all a snapshot of a moment in our day to day lives.
Right now at this moment, my 15 year old son is watching videos on Youtube and my 10 year old daughter is making french toast for a late breakfast. Until she started cooking she was playing Minecraft on my computer. One dog is sleeping (he's old and slowly dying) and the other is pacing about barking from time to time at one of the cats who is trying to nap. The other two cats are off somewhere hiding from the dog. My beloved husband is off working. He's been away for the last two nights, but will be home for dinner. Oh and the chickens are in their pen squabbling over pecking order. My son and I are dressed, but my daughter is still in her nightgown.
It's 10 AM and this is a pretty typical morning for us. Other kids started school the last couple of days, but we are doing our unschooling thing right here at home. In a little bit it will be my son's turn to play Minecraft and I'll lose my computer for a few hours. I'll probably read and my daughter will probably watch my son.
I don't really want to refer to my kids by name on my blog, so I'll go back to how I've often referred to them in the past. I've called my son - the boy and my daughter - the girl. I guess that will do for now. Anyone who can think of a cute nickname for them let me know here in the comments or on facebook and maybe I'll use something new. That could actually be fun. Some of you know us from real life and might think of something cute - fill me in if you come up with anything.
I've been thinking about different rites of passage and watching my kids grow up. I've been lucky, because we homeschool I've been a significant presence in every stage of my kids' development. The boy is deep into adolescence and the girl is on the edge. I've tried very hard to live in the moment with my kids. I've enjoyed and appreciated every stage of development and tried my best to support and guide them. I haven't always done the best job, but their lives have been filled with love and acceptance and I think that's important. I enjoyed being the mom to an infant, to a toddler, a preschooler, a little kid, and now a teenager and a preadolescent. Every stage has been a gift and I've tried to be there for it. It hasn't always been easy - there have been some significant challenges along the way, but I think I can safely say that my kids know they are loved for who they are right now.
Trying to protect them has often backfired, but everything we've gone through - we've gone through as a family. We've stuck together through thick and thin and boy has there been a lot of thick. I do worry a bit about empty nest syndrome because so much of my life has been wrapped up in my kids' lives. How do I try to deal with the future? First and foremost, I try to live in the moment and second I work at my relationship with myself and my husband. Sometimes, often actually, I look forward to the days when it'll just be he and I in our house.
I want my kids to be happy and I honestly don't know what that means yet. Ultimately it's not up to me. They are well on their way to adulthood and I have to accept that their future happiness is in their hands. I can only be here to help guide and support them through the choices that they make. Will they make mistakes? I hope so - that's one of the ways we learn. I'll be here to help them get back up when they fall and love them no matter how big those mistakes are. That's all I can do. That's my job.
Wow, this snapshot got kinda deep.......Yes that is the way my mind works. I think one simple little thought and suddenly my mind is off and running.
One of the best parts of this snapshot is that it is always changing. The boy is still on Youtube - now he's looking up different videos about how to manipulate Minecraft and I'm trying to convince the girl that getting dressed would be a good idea. The other dog has curled up on the coach and is napping under a blanket (yep it's still a bit chilly). Cats are still doing their thing - the kids are humming some song they remember from a tv show they watched together and the chickens are still working on that pesky pecking order.
All in all - I'd have to say I'm incredibly blessed.