I had a dream last night that a helicopter flew right up to
my window and the woman pilot peeked in my house.
(Oh. Wait. It gets better!)
Then I led an enormous group of Russian speaking children,
along with my own,
on a swim to another country going against the current.
(I don’t swim.)
Throughout the entire course of the swim, the helicopter kept swooping in to check on our progress.
(She’s making me nuts!)
We can’t see land, but we’re making progress.
My daughter just pulled away from the house in her very own car. It was her great grandfather’s car, but now it’s hers. When my grandpa needed to quit driving we bought his 1994 Oldsmobile. I think it was 10 years old and had less than 30,000 in-town-only miles on it. Grandpa made a weekly trek to Hy-Vee Grocery store and an occasional trip out to the farm. (Sometimes he didn’t even come onto the yard, just drove by real slow. You can take the farmer off the farm, but you can’t take the farmer out of him.) In the last eight years, we’ve added another 30,000 in-town miles, mostly back and forth to Mayo clinic. This week Kadi bought the car. She’s choosing to consider it a “vintage” car and anything “vintage” in Kadi’s eyes moves way up the cool scale.
We’ve passed a big blue baton down to the next generation.
Time is ticking.
Last Monday she took her first college classes as a Junior in high school.
In two years, she’ll graduate.
She’s a smart girl.
She knows Jesus.
(I’m reminding myself of these truths as a means of dealing with my denial.)
None of this is easy.
Mike told me this would happen. This season where two women, who’re so very much alike, rub against each other and create sparks. She is pressing hard against the boundaries and is ready to break out and declare independence. I am holding on and reminding her that there’s no hurry, she still has things to learn, she’s giving so much of herself to others that her family gets leftovers way more than is comfortable. She is spending hours writing every assignment for the entire semester –color coded- into her planner. (This she-child is so much like me it’s terrifying.) I think she should be studying for her ACT test and her business test that’s tomorrow. (I’ve been her teacher here at Cambridge Academy for the last 8 years. This is her first non- homeschool test. Naturally I want her to study and do well!) SPARKS. [Did you see that helicopter?] She thinks she should go cheer up a friend. I think she should ask if there’s anything she can do to be helpful around the house. MORE SPARKS.
It doesn’t take my husband (psychologist) to interpret this dream for me. I get it. We are swimming in foreign waters and I’m doing things as a mother, as a teacher, and as an author and speaker that I don’t know how to do. It’s extremely uncomfortable. Hmmm … my daughter is swimming right next to me. She too is doing things that are foreign. Wait. Is that me behind the controls of that helicopter … making waves that only slow the progress of the swimmer? Well, shoot.
Mike (husband/psychologist) always tells us that when we have a bad dream, we need to change the ending in our minds. Here’s my re-write …
The noisy helicopter pulls up – not away –
but high enough that the water is no longer churning.
It backs off, but is within distance to see when distress is signaled and help sought.
I’m swimming like an Olympian against the current with my kids
(and all the Russian speaking kids too … since I don’t know what to make of them in my dream).
Each of my three swim with different strokes: different from each other and different from me.
I’m good with that.
They know that when they get tired, they only need to reach out, grab my leg, and float.
I’ll carry them.
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Hi Vicki. When I read this I started crying–to know that someone else is in the same boat (err . . . helicopter) somehow makes me feel better. The last year has been such a roller coaster of emotions. All the changes. It was easier having toddlers. I always thought the people who said having teenagers was hard were so wrong–my teenagers have been delightful, fun, amazing. . . but then they started leaving all of the time–in their car, yes. The leftovers–that’s the perfect word. I’ve felt so abandoned. I think it’s a major dilemma for (some of us) home school moms. We’re so close to them, literally, for years, and then, suddenly, they’re not here all of the time. You didn’t whine nearly as much as I do. Yes, doing their chores, nagging about the lost items–shoes, phones, keys, hounding them to study for the ACT, trying to explain that their dreams and goals require money and that a few hours of study can actually result in thousands of dollars. But then there’s so much guilt, too. I want them to have fun–and yes, to be there for friends who need loving friends and on and on. This is a huge transition time (mine are just one year apart) so this is it, and the time is swiftly flying by. I always envisioned this last year as one of savoring the moments of it being THE LAST YEAR. Ha! Ha! But instead it’s filled with college applications, auditions, tests, creating resumes, transcripts, course descriptions, taking classes at RCTC, senior pictures, finishing scrapbooks, planning parties, aah! The madness! And so I cry. I just want to cuddle up with them on the couch during the day and read novels like we used to and spend hours talking in the evening on the couch and listen to them jumping on the trampoline in the back yard. This is painful and poopy. I know some may sound like my life revolves around my kids too much and that I’m too attached. Yep. So, it’s transition time. The biggest struggle of all is that I don’t wish this last year away because of all of it’s busyness, but that I try to enjoy the moments we do snatch. Letting go. I don’t know how. P.S. Mack is the same–vintage all the way.
Vicki, I just realized that I didn’t encourage you at all. Oh my. Here is a short list of thanks for this week–and I bet you have these too: Every day they tell me they love me. They hug me good night. And they even hug me sometimes before they’re running out the door. They’re nice to each other (most of the time). They are loved by so many people, young and old. They are smart, witty, and fun. They laughed at a joke I told this week. They are creative. They love Jesus. They are alive! This has helped me. One day at a time. Today I’m going to be thankful, gentle, and kind. No nagging. You try, too. I’m saying a prayer for you.
Kristi, your affirmation blessed my heart! Thank you! Our girls are having lunch tomorrow and Kadi is so excited to spend time with Kenzie. You have some great kids, girl! Thank you again for commenting!
Vicki, thanks for sharing your heart. I’m right there with you, even though I’m many years ahead of you. With two through college and out on the other side, three in college, and just one left at Red Oak Home School, believe me I know how you feel. Sometimes I just have to park the helicopter! It is hard!! But our Great God is still watching over them. He loves them more than I do! (How can that be? But I KNOW it is true!!) And he loves me — and you — and stays close for us, too. More and more I reach out for a carry from Him. And as for us swimming close enough to “carry” our kids in their distress, it may amaze you that sometimes when you get weary, they may actually carry you! Transitions are tough, bumpy, scary. But they are part of His perfect plan. And that is where we find rest. (Preaching to myself today!!)
Diane, I look at you and know it’s possible to get through. 🙂 Thank you for blazing the trail!
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