Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coming Home

Such a lovely week we had in Minnesota! Visits with family, dips in lakes, nature walks and sleep. Really just the perfect thing for our tired bunch.

I have not been writing here much because life has been hard on me lately and I tend to mostly want to share the sweet stuff. Things are by no means perfect, but I have had a little time to catch my breath and it seems that we are finding some solid ground. It is amazinghow much I thought I had it all under control only to find that THAT was a huge joke! This year has been full of challenges but also full of grace. Here is a little summary.

After a winter of geologic hazards (floods and mudslides to be more specific), my neighbors are finally starting to see the light and it looks like we may (fingers crossed) get some protection in place before the next winter storms begin. Along with learning a WHOLE lot about drainage, erosion, geology and the many types of engineering careers out there, I also learned quite a bit about neighborly politics and about how to try to avoid making assumptions about other people's opinions and perceptions. That old saying "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" rings so true for me as I continue to lobby for my cause.

Even closer to home have been the troubles my middle child has had this year. About a year ago he had a BMX accident that resulted in a severe concussion. After recovering from that one, unfortunately he had another accident in February that resulted in a broken jaw. Well, you can imagine that he had a lot of pain and many doctors and dentists and chiropractors to visit. All of this meant a lot of missed school days. All along, he was suffering these severe headaches and also started having some not so great feelings. Sadly, his school (oh how I wish now - with hindsight - that we never sent him to that pit of despair we call public middle school) was not on his side and he ended up in worse and worse trouble. It was very much a terrible downward spiral. With a lot of work, family love, sleepless nights and a large team of both conventional and alternative medical practitioners, our boy is on the road to recovery from what looks like post concussion syndrome. As the new school year approaches and our son really wants to attend a "regular" school and not homeschool for high school, we are again holding our breath a little bit. This is certainly one of those times when we take a look at it all and realize how little control we have. During this terribly difficult time, I happened to be in a place where this poem was being recited. How perfectly appropriate it is for anyone parenting a teenager.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

And so we return from our little getaway and begin to prepare for the coming autumn. My oldest will start applying to college, and continue to strive to do her best (which is awesome!) at her wonderful private school. My middle one will join my oldest at that snazzy private high school and continue to recover his health as he seeks to find his own sense of himself in this tricky world full of pitfalls for teenage boys. My youngest will spend one more year in public elementary school, making new friends and proving to himself that he really can make it in that big, scary place. And I will continue to breath and hope for grace and accept the little gifts that come my way to help strengthen me for the sure challenges that will also come.