Last Sunday was all bustle and baking, attending three wards, hosting temple prep and a family dinner, cooking masses of food (never enough), people coming in and out of the house all day…
and today is quiet.
Me tucked in bed with a cold and a box of Kleenex. Erik leaving on a business trip. My niece Zoey (who is occupying our guest suite this year), tiptoeing in and out.
Yesterday, we took the last of Gabe and Mary’s things down to Provo where they will both be starting classes at BYU tomorrow– Mary in the Nursing school and Gabe as a freshman with goals to double major in German and Finance. They are living in the same apartment complex (good old Glenwood), with just a parking lot between them, a shared car and plans for game nights and grocery runs.
So it’s a little quieter today. But not lonely, not empty. Ben brought the little boys over last night to swim; we admired Larsie’s wide smiles and Fritzie’s constant chatter. Xander texted about his latest invention; I talked to Stefan and Heather about Wells turning 7 months and their search for a house. Hans called to report on another good week in North Carolina.
For so long, I’d heard about the long empty hours when your children get older and for me at least, that’s been a myth. Our children are in and out of our house every day. And as much time as I spend helping my kids, there’s always more I could do. It’s not that they aren’t independent and responsible– it’s just that in a big bustling loving family there’s alway lumber to move, a big meal to make, toddlers who need an hour at the park, someone sick who needs a little extra love and a delivery of cough drops and popsicles (or ‘popicles’, as Fritzie calls them), babies who need games of peek-a-boo and new moms who just need a minute to take a shower.
Honestly, it’s the most rich, rewarding season of parenting yet.
I hesitate to write about it because we live in an age where everyone judges everyone’s choices. Where making money and earning esteem are paramount. I’m living a quiet, near-invisible life, and I love it. This fall, it will be a bit quieter, and I hope to finally clear out the messes in my house and garden, to tackle projects I love (painting the walls and knitting mittens) to writing that novel I can’t get out of my head, but have no desire to publish.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll deadhead the roses, muddle through paperwork, and finish up photos from a recent wedding. Today, I’ll enjoy the quiet.