Tuesday, June 15, 2010

to everything there is a season

We have been enjoying quite a ride around here over the past couple of months. We've had some interesting challenges but have experienced undeniable blessings on many fronts and feel very grateful. On one end of the spectrum we have Keith's truck being stolen and recovered (twice), and on the other end we have Brennan graduating from high school with all that represents. And there have been a few things in between. Highs and lows, challenges and blessings. That's what makes the world go 'round.

We'll leave the lows alone for now, and mention a couple of highs. We actually had two graduations this year: Austin from junior high and Brennan from high school. Side note: I still have the earrings I wore to my 8th grade graduation. They are little half-inch diameter hoops that I thought were SO huge at the time. I remember feeling a little self-conscious as I wore them, like I was a little too bedazzled and people would notice. Austin didn't wear earrings, but he did look very nice in his shirt and tie as he accepted his "English Student of the Year Award".

and then as he strolled up to receive his Presidential Award for Academic Excellence:

Parenthood is really a fascinating career, isn't it? You strive daily to learn the job and then perform it well, and just when you think you've got it down, the job description changes, and the learning process begins again. Those whom you are working with and for grow and change and require us as parents to grow and change right along with them. The baby years turn into the preschool years, then the school and preschool years mingle for awhile, then the momentous day arrives when the last child begins school, and the locomotive picks up speed in a whole new way. The time for great parenting has arrived like never before, because now we parents are balancing our influence with that of friends, worldly distractions and interests, and increasing desires from our children to be independant. We have to learn the delicate balance of asserting control and letting go. How strict should we be? How many decisions can they make on their own? How far should I push this or that? Which battles should I decide to surrender rather than fight? Was that one's poor decision my fault? Should I have been able to prevent that one from failure? Did my influence have anything to do with that one's success? How much of my teaching went into that one's great decision? Will they remember this happy moment? Will they (please) forget that bad one? Will we still be friends when it's all said and done? Oh, it's a complicated job. Some days I do okay, and other days I just can't get anything right. And then in the midst of all of this, while the parents are still learning how to do their job, the children leave the safety of the nest and fly away, whether or not they know enough or are prepared enough. Ready or not, sink or swim. And I am somehow saying, "Could this really be happening already??" Thankfully, we've got Dallin for eight more years,

Austin for four,

and Kristi for one.

So we can still teach a little and learn a lot. But this one is almost out the door.

and he's pretty happy about it.

Something tells me that, in the eternal scheme of things, we are just getting started.