Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Learning to Let Go

Today I began my babysteps towards the season of "the empty nest". My little girl (17) went off to camp for her first job away from home. She will be a junior counselor at a girls camp 2.5hrs away for about 7 weeks this summer. Big step for both of us.

I always think of her as confident and capable yet as we arrived she was happy for my company as she found the beginning of the checking process and then worked her way through the lines. I hung around until she passed the health check in and was heading off to lunch. She was gracious to endure a few more hugs than she would have desired before I went off down the mountain.

The camp is beautiful and well established. From the dorm ceilings hang boards of past sessions with names of past campers. New and old buildings are nestled into the well treed grounds. A rope swing and porch swings call to you to stop and visit or take a break. The possibilities of activities await her and all who will arrive this summer.

And so I let go and let God care for my treasure, my daughter, allowing her to spread her wings a bit, to grow and be stretched. To share company with older girls, hoping that she will find ones to connect with, treasure memories with and enjoy creating a memorable summer for many little ones.

I have heard of her zeal for action and adventure- my unicycling wonder, my white water rafter and tree climber. So her summer of trying new things has begun. Her room will be quiet and I will write letters to encourage. It is the beginning of letting go and moving forward for me, as a mother and a woman. Of looking down the road at the transition that awaits as each of the children seek the path that lies before them for their own adventure.

For some it is a few years away, for others many, but for each it will come. One day it will be time to pass on the to another mom, to allow another to carry that title. It is time to look down the road and begin to consider life after marythemom, when I am just Mary- the creative, the gardener, the book reader, the builder, the????? When my day is not filled with caring for younger ones and listening to the heart of the child. I know they will still share but it will be from afar, not from under the roof always.

So, today as I drove away leaving her in a foreign place it was not with fear but renewed faith that my God, her God, our God is caring for her so much more than I can and do. What a grand adventure, to pass the baton and watch her begin to run her own race down the path God has for her.

So, E-beth as you read this know I am standing here cheering you on. You go girl, enjoy the adventure and share that which lies within you with those around you. May God continue to be your wisdom, strength and joy through this summer!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time in the garden

I have been spending time playing in the dirt today. I awoke to the sound of soft rain and thought of how this would be a good day to move monkey grass. It surrounded our mailbox post in a thick clumped circle. With a shovel and knife I was able to pry it up and out. I then loosened dirt around the area and slowly divided the massive root system and transplanted many small shoots to fill in a corner spot around the mailbox post. It will slowly fill in and I will get to repeat the same adventure in several years.

To spend time sinking my hands in dirt is a way for me to rest and slow my pace of life. Today I spent about two hours planting, weeding and transplanting. Last night at Lowe's I found a bleeding heart plant- a plant from my childhood, to add to my garden. It is a shade lover and I remember looking at neighbors plants with great joy. Now I can visit my garden and cherish the flowers as they come. It is telling that I am now thinking of my childhood as I seek out plants to bring color and interest to the garden.

Last weekend I spent time in a beautiful garden of a new friend. She was gracious to give me a tour and send me home with iris bulbs- her castoffs, my joy and delight. When we arrived here we had a lanscaped perrenial bed in the front and a halfwall brick planter. Since that time I have divided the hostas, lambs ear and other perrenials and began to fill in the empty spaces that lined the fences and walls. It is amazing to me to see things thrive with a bit of compost and manure. Now I am slowly diversifying the beds with a few annuals for color and moving things about to bring interest in texture and heights.

Our neighbor has a beautiful clemantis climbing a trellis in her yard. Last night I found one on the markdown rack so soon there will be beauty climbing up the lamppost in the front yard.

This month I have begun to use herbs and natural remedies. A friend gave me a plaintain tincture to help with our sons acne struggle. slowly but surely we are seeing an improvement. To us this is an amazing wonder as he has had antibiotics that did not seem to help. Now a simple plantain / cider vinegar tincture is slowly but surely drawing out all the impurities and bringing healing to his breakouts. I rejoice to see God's provision to cure.

Our daughter and other son both had bites of various sorts this week. We applied bruised plaintain and comfrey and soon found the rash and swelling diminished. As our daughter heads out to camp she'll be carrying plaintain tincture and a bug repellent from nature's provision.

Our raised bed garden is slowly growing. The cool weather crop continues to squeeze against the cage- today I thought of the cabbages as captive cabbages as they are protected under a chicken wire cover. The seeds planted are shooting up and we are beginning the battle against aphids and other attackers of vegetation. It is restful to daily visit and pick a few peas or nibble on some fresh broccoli. We look forward to the melons, cucumbers and tomato that are in process.

I spent time last month building up the compost bin. We took the truck to a subdivision to collect bagged leaves and grass. Filling the back of the truck we soon had full bins. As the weeks have passed the level of organic matter has shrunk. When I checked the piles I found the heat within toasty. Earlier this week I spent time turning and soaking the pile. Slowly but surely all the grass, leaves and vegatable scraps will turn into rich dirt (compost)and will enrich the garden and flower beds. What fun it is to recycle the weeds and grass into dirt- feeding earthworms along the way!

So, another day in the garden is done, my hands are a bit grubby as I just never remember to don gloves. As I leave it is with joy for the time spent in quietness and time talking with the Lord as I enjoy His creation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Transitions ahead

It feels like we've been living alot of life here of recent. We've had birthdays to celebrate, doctor visits, therapy appointments, end of co-op and soon end of school- yipeee!!! We've had kids stressed over education, enviroment and change- life is happening here. Some days we finish the day and are so very done! It is good to see endings as well as beginnings.

My eldest survived his second semester in college, coming away with a variety of grades, the best news was that he passed the Chemistry course- a real tough one where there is automatically a steep curve before classes begin! What a collective sigh of relief there was when he found the posted grade not only passing but also transferrable- yeah! Now its a summer of working and wrestling over Calculus for him.

My daughter is counting down the final days of school and considering the upcoming year with uncertainty of what educational path she'll be traveling upon. She gets to spend the first half of summer at Camp Skyline as a junior counselor. She is looking forward to time with girls and horses as well as hopes to uni in the woods. She has taken to her unicycle and its a daily occurance to see her pedaling down the street. She is wanting to soon launch into life with dreams of travel and adventure, so there is no telling where she'll be heading next year.

The boys are finishing up their lessonwork and right now summer looks open- a nice thing as we look to slow down a bit. I think we'll still do a bit of reading and writing as both can use some continuation in that , but not much as this mom wants some down time. They are finding new guys to spend time- with hopes of future visits and romps in the woods.

I was pleased yesterday to find after an evaluation that my youngest had made some gains in some skill areas with the Occupational Therapist. She did an eval and said that there were 2.5 year gains in some areas- not bad for 6 mos work! Slowly but surely we'll address his areas in need of remediation. Sam speed is the speed we work at, which is hard for this hyper mom, but I continue to learn to slow down to catch up with him.

Its been an interesting year- slow at times, busy at others, some months easy relationally, others challenging. Recently stress seems to have sat at my feet. Taking each day at a time has helped me to keep perspective. Remembering that my God is big enough and will walk beside me in all things has brought me comfort.

So we are in the midst of preparation for transitions. One off to camp, another starting full time work for a season. Summer will soon be upon us, visitors coming and a camping trip or two to embark upon. We'll be looking forward to the upcoming school year with the many decisions that will need to be made for each child's education. Again, dependence is where I find that I need to position myself. I think of how yesterday at a thrift shop my youngest brought me an upwards new testament he wanted to buy- he just loves to hear the Word of God. Oh if I can be like this child in willing to sit at the feet and soak in the fathers word and live a life of dependence and obedience. pressing on until next time.