Mother’s Journal – In Admiration of the Season
“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” Claude Monet
Looking around my room this morning as I write this, I see a scene that tells the tale of my life right now. There is a box with summer clothes stacked on top of it because I haven’t taken time to fold them as I swap out my summer and cold weather clothes. I see a stack of framed photos that are still, after five months of living here, sitting on the floor. My nightstand is piled up with my Bible, my planner, a bunch of pens, and my diffuser. There is a fleece blanket on the big chair and the down comforter is on the bed. Everything seems in transition.
It is the change of the season, a time for reflection.
It also is a time for planning and anticipating a new adventure that will include colder temperatures and snow, lots of snow.
But in the meantime, I have other things swirling around in my mother’s head. Serious things that make me think about who I am as a mother right now. And, it is as always, the realizing that I am not in complete control of everything and even though it’s hard, I will be okay if I just don’t give up.
I consider myself an experienced mom. For a while now, I have even thought that I had being a mom to grown children sort of figured out. The last month has dissolved that notion. My two youngest boys, now in their twenties, have moved back home as they shift from one phase to another in their lives. Just like the physical season, it’s a time of family transition as well.
My husband and I were just establishing a routine with the two of us since his retirement. Our daily rhythms were fairly easy going and we accomplished a lot both around the house, in our volunteer work, and in having a really good time exploring our new area together on foot and in our kayaks.
I did not anticipate how much having the boys at home would make us reshuffle our lives again.
So once again I am writing a new chapter in my “mother’s journal”. This is the chapter where I humbly accept that the modern family is very different than the one I grew up in and my children need to have support a little bit longer than expected. I need to accept that I’m going to be the “sandwich generation” where, on some level, I’ll still be supporting my grown children at the same time as I’m caring for my parents.
All of this does not mean that I’m unhappy. Rather, it has made me be firm in my resolve to simplify my life enough that I can remain flexible to take advantage of snatches of time during each day that I can enjoy this amazing place that we have moved to in Oregon, remain resolved to continue my activities that nurture my needs like my volunteer work, and still have time to enjoy having my family around me.
So for now, I’ll be trying to create a positive attitude about our family situation and savor the moments of time I have with us all here in Oregon. The photos will be hung soon enough and the boxes will be packed and stored away. In the meantime, I’ll be gathering memories of this first autumn we have in our new home next to the willows and river. I’ll watch as the birds migrate through (like the Sandhill cranes!) and hang up extra feeders for the ones that want to stay awhile.
Maybe I should welcome my two boys as migrant birds; they are here for a season and then they will fly off to a new place.