Location: Friendswood, Texas, United States

Monday, June 06, 2005

Why directions?

I have been concerned with different directions lately.

Directions to where we are going the next couple of weeks. Vacation (of sorts).

Directions to my life. At nearly 45 years of age, I am now expected to live until 92! I feel as though I have allowed events of my life to direct it, so have been floating through, going through the motions. I want to find a way to take direction of it. Why look forward to retirement in 20 years when I have almost 50 left - how boring - and what then would I do when retired? I'd rather find something that I really enjoy doing as opposed to doing something that pays the bills so that I can continue to have fun at it as long as I am able. But what? Study more science or turn to art? How do I decided what I'll still be passionate about 30 years from now.

Directions to give my nearly grown children, well, young adults. How to continue to guide them without nagging or interfering. Where do you draw the line between helping them and letting them make mistakes they need to ?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Chicks jumping the coop

This summer, my kids are beginning to go in their own directions.
My son is 18. He just finished his freshman year in college. He is learning to become an adult, at his own pace - hanging on to the edge of the nest and checking everything out carefully before making any drastic moves. He moved in with his dad last school year (a whole 20 minutes away), but spent most of his time with more familiar friends and family. It was his first short jump (a hop, really). This summer, a friend of his who was a German exchange student when they were in high school has invited him to come visit and tour Europe for five weeks. What an opportunity! He is eager for this next, longer range flight.
My daughter, 17, is quite a different bird. She will only be a senior in high school next year, but is already making grand plans for her impending migration. She and I will spend a week this summer looking at some universities in the northeast - she is very determined that she will not stay in her home state of Texas. In a practice run, she will be going to a camp in the northeast that will keep her happily busy for six weeks.
So, these next few days, will be our last to be all together for a while. To me, this is what being a parent really is about. Being so proud of them as young adults. They are possibly the only people that I love unconditionally. When they were young, they were a lot of fun to play with and see the wonder on their faces when I brought them on vacations and exposed them to new experiences. At the same time, raising them has been the most difficult endeavor I've ever had. I almost referred to it as a "job", but there is no job description complete enough, it is a life choice. I feel that I worked hard to try to make sure they have the skills they need to get on in the world and feel blessed that they have so far chosen to follow a straight path. I thank God for helping me - I simply don't know how else I could have succeeded without Him. You see, this summer is also my opportunity to practice being just me, not Mom. I've never lived alone before.