Well, another Thanksgiving holiday is in the books. Ours was spent with family and friends in differing numbers over the course of the last three days. It was relaxing and recharging. It was laughing until my stomach hurt, kid hugs and amazing conversations with everyone.
It was a time of quality moments with my wife and two grown kids, albeit fleeting at times.
And as I sat there listening to them talk about their lives, their encounters, their worries and anxieties, I realized they've arrived, and in a sense, so have we. They have begun adulthood -for real adulthood, not the "I'm 18" adulthood. The one where they are shopping for groceries and calling their mom for advice on what spices to put in their homemade chicken dumpling soup.
It is funny because I can remember those very moments when I was in their place so many years ago. I remember shopping for groceries and wondering if the green bananas I was buying would ripen okay or should I skip them that week and wait for better looking ones next week.
My daughter bought a used Kia Rio from us and she was tasked with taking the title to the DMV to get it transferred. She also has to line up insurance for the car. Both of these are adult tasks that we would love to help her with, but know that those are the things that make you an adult. These are sometimes the hard things, but they need to be done and are part of cutting the cord.
We listened to our son describe the habits of some of his roommates that drive him a little crazy. He claims to pick up the slack for some of the more slovenly guys in his apartment. (Sounds like a parent, to me. LOL) He is beginning to realize that it takes so little work to take care of your own dirty dishes, clothes etc., but not everyone at that age is as aware of that. Getting along with others in a living space is a taste of Adulting 101.
They are both back in their separate cities now, Madison and Minneapolis. Both of these places are dear to my heart, especially now, knowing they are home to my kids. The house is quiet and clean again. But frankly I miss my son flopping into the recliner with one leg over the arm and checking his phone while we talk about music or sports or whatever. I miss my daughter sitting on the couch with her legs pulled up under her watching a movie on Netflix with her boyfriend, me and Donna.
And I realize our lives are travelling in different different, though slightly parallel trajectories. Our kids are setting the stage for the rest of their lives in the hopes of happiness and fulfillment.
Meanwhile we are gently pushing them out of the nest and beginning new phases of our lives, as well. Phases of finishing strong, of creativity and love, of having a sense of purpose and calling.
And while there are days of melancholy sadness like yesterday, where for no reason, I felt on the edge of tears a dozen times, (I can't explain why) I also know they will be fine. They are beautiful, compassionate, loving individuals who make the world a better place. I'd like to say we set the stage for that at some level, but also know it was a bit of dumb luck mixed with God's grace.