Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day 2010

Hunter made scrambled eggs, toast, a pot of coffee and served it all with a delicious homemade blueberry muffin (baked by Dad yesterday!) .... all the while telling us not to expect much from the breakfast. Its his first year to do it all on his own - the last 2 years, Nikki and/or Dallas were in the kitchen with him...but Nik's out in her beautiful beach house and Dallas was leading the music at church this morning. While telling Hunter "its the thought that counts," Dad was surprised at just how good those eggs tasted.

Hunter's grown up a lot this past year - he's become the chicken master (the only one of us who can get those eggs out from under the almost constantly brooding Hecky Pecky without getting pecked) and learned to scramble up or fry fresh eggs for his own breakfast; he's "graduated" middle school and will head off to the high school in the fall (made the honor roll again I might just add with a bit of pride) and grown to be about 1.5 inches taller than his Dad. He's also doing his own laundry as of the first week of summer vacation - a "transitional" event from child to almost grown up. And as he made that breakfast this morning, I was a tiny bit sad.

David and I have been lucky - while most of our friend's children have grown up and out of their parent's homes, we've been able to extend our time with our adult children. By the time he and I were our kids ages, we had a mortgage and children and our parents were true empty nester's for the most part.

Looking back, I remember preparing for Nikki's tenth birthday and thinking "we've only got eight more years with her" (little did I know~~)....two years later, she's heading off to middle school and I 've got another baby at home ....and life sped up. When she entered high school, I only had a minute to feel sad before life wrapped me up in its busyness...Dallas followed her to high school two years later but I still had a little one at home and soccer games, and marching band practice, and football games .... life marching forward left me no real time to feel sad that my children were growing up.

And then we moved here. David and I were fulfilling a dream of our own, beginning to build the life that would be ours AFTER raising the two older children. It was a bit of a wrench leaving the house we'd spent 13 years of those children's lives in....but we knew better than to put our own dreams on hold for much those hectic pre-move days and then those even more hectic post move days of making this house our own, I had little moments filled with grief where my heart would speed up and my breath would catch and a tear would maybe squeeze its way out of the corner of my eye.

Dallas had to finish his senior year so he stayed in the old town during the week and only came here on the weekends; that summer he and Nikki were Camp Counselors at a YMCA camp and were only home on weekends - and Dallas headed off to college that fall. Those few moments where the grief of entering the empty nesting stage took hold on me were mostly because I felt we'd ripped his childhood home away from him at the wrong stage in his life - that he'd never feel that this was his home...only the place he visited his family occasionally. Although David never said much, he felt the same in quiet moments....At some point during that first year here, Dallas quietly assured me that this was his home because WE were here.....and I began to relax where he was concerned. Six years later, I know with all my heart that this IS his home, the place he longs for when life at school gets tough and he just wants to lay his head.

Nikki turned 21 that fall and moved out for the first time - little did we know that she'd move back in three times over the next five years....the final time being a time she needed to just lay her head and heal from some of life's harder knocks....and heal she did...surrounded by nature, working in gardens, learning to live with quiet and peace and finally, perhaps most importantly, learning how to enjoy her own company and listen to her own spirit.....with this last move out David and I could watch her go confident that our home - our love - had helped her finally be ready to really spread her wings and fly the coop.

Which brings me back to this morning, watching our baby cook breakfast on Fathers Day for the first time all by himself. I had a moment where I thought to myself "only four more years with him"......and then I remembered a few things.....

That turning 18 doesn't mean they leave home completely
That this is "home" where he'll still want to lay his head until he's fully prepared for life
That he's finally doing his own laundry, cooking some of his own meals, and that soon...he'll have his drivers license and can make those long runs into town for that thing we just can't do without until the next scheduled trip ....

and then I smiled.....and thanked God for a wonderful husband who was a great dad to our kids - and for the blessings he's given this house and the children He's allowed us to raise...........

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