Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy, sad, strange, mysterious

When Andrew was little he would climb into my bed very early in the morning and while I was still trying to sleep he would play with my face. As he pulled on it he would create different expressions and say, "Happy, sad, strange, mysterious," to describe the contortions through which he was putting my face.

At one point today those words came to mind and I realized how perfect they are to describe the way my life feels right now. The back-to-school season is bittersweet as yet another of my kids begins college. Those lovely, hectic, stressful years of homeschooling four kids went way too fast. Two of my kids are full-fledged adults. The third is well on his way. And even my baby is a very self-directed, hard-working, almost 17-year-old, who is looking for a job and planning to begin college classes in the spring.

Being Grandma-on-baby-watch has me feeling at loose ends. I'm having trouble settling into working on any projects. I can't make set-in-stone plans for the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to see Helen. I think about her--and, of course--my Bepper, all of the time.

My house still has major projects to be done. And minor projects which we know will go on for years. There is also some regular maintenance and clean-up that needs to happen, and that pool leak to fix. All of this to do with sons who are busier than ever and a husband who is home less than 60 hours a week, about 25 of which are for sleeping. I think both of us--and our bank account--have project fatigue.

Life feels strange right now. The hubby and I are both in the medical tests/doctors appointments/referrals to specialists circus. The political landscape seems rocky. Our household budget is being severely tightened. Things feel slightly out of focus.

And yet, I am happy.  I think that Andrew, at two, was profoundly descriptive of life on this earth.


organistsandra said...

Awww. I can sure sympathize. It really, truly is bittersweet as our children grow up and become more independent. Margaret is going to live in the dorm this fall. We were shopping again today for dorm supplies, and tomorrow she starts moving out. It will probably be for just one semester, but still.

A young lady from church is moving in tomorrow. She wants to go to IUSB, but her family lives in Elkhart, so we offered her a bedroom as her dorm room. Another change.

Pearl's talking about bringing a young man with her at Thanksgiving. I've been hearing about Jordan, and am looking forward to meeting him.

The Kenyan hymnal work has picked up speed as we reach the final stages. Part of me thinks it will never end, and part of me wonders what I'll do if the end does come.

So yet, life feels strange right now. God bless you, Jane, and give you peace among the restlessness.


Mom said...

It's nice to be reminded of Andrew's precious face game; how poignant that this memory came to you at a particularly bittersweet time of your life.

Seems to me you've always been an optimist, tempered by a healthy sense of reality. Then there's the drive to accomplish things that are meaningful and lasting, which can be difficult when chunks of life are on hold. But it's been a gift for me to see that you have the kind of faith that produces the "peace ... which surpasses human understanding." Keep trusting.

I love you.

Elephantschild said...

It's a privilege to get a foretaste of the next stage of family life through your walk through these changes, my friend.


Emily Cook said...

Oh this is beautiful. Thank you for this glimpse into your life... into a season that is down the road for me (Lord willing!)