They came home. It was spring break and my three women decided to leave town. Since Easter is so early this year and I am a minister, I needed to stay behind and get some work finished up so we’ll be ready for all the special services and events during Holy Week. So off they went for 4 days and I stayed home with the dog.
Did you know that my twin daughters are graduating from high school this year and will be leaving for college in just a short 20 short weeks? That time will fly by oh so quickly and I know it. I have enjoyed their first 18 years under my roof, but this season of the journey is beginning to draw to a close. I am personally not looking forward to it. I have loved just about every minute of them being in the house. There’s been a few times I wished things were different, but I never wanted them to leave. The time is coming, yea verily, it is coming soon, that they will pack their bags and venture out in a safe setting to begin their transition into adulthood. I know it is right. I am proud of them. But I have groaned about their leaving for several months now, not ever looking forward to it.
This past Saturday my wife and two daughters packed their bags, stuffed them in the back of the van, kissed me goodbye, and off they went. I stood in the driveway with the dog giving the ceremonial wave as they drove down the street. They were just going to be gone for 4 days, off to the grandparents for spring break. There was a part of me not looking forward to the time alone. I walked back in the house and proceeded to pick up the stuff they left behind. I picked up books and shoes and clothes. I made all the beds. I put a load of laundry in washer. I swept the floor. I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen. I looked at the clock; I had accomplished all that in just 30 minutes! What was I going to do now? I sat down on the couch and thought about the rest of the day, yes, even the next four days.
I am not a loner. I am an extrovert who thrives being around people. I am a servant and a doer. I like serving and I like doing. I somehow got the worker gene, that veritable need to be productive and accomplish stuff. It might be small stuff or large stuff, for it really doesn’t matter. If there’s something to be done, I feel the need to do it. But over recent months I have felt the tug to stop, to sit and listen and spend some time just being quiet. Some call it meditation, some call it quiet time. But I have been reminded of the awesome pace that I have been keeping over the past several months and the need to slow it down a bit. These past four days did just that.
I learned that I will be fine next year when my girls leave for college. So many have told me this, but you have to believe it yourself. (Cue smiles from all you who have gone before me!) It will be an adjustment, but I will make it. I am now actually looking forward to a slower routine. Yes, I know I will fill it up with something, but I’m looking forward to sitting and reading a book. I’m looking forward to having a little more time to walk the dog. I’m looking forward to a change of routine.
But I’m still glad they came home. They pulled in the driveway and the pace picked up. There’s once again shoes under the chairs. Yes, I’m even thankful for the stuff that was still on the counter when I got up this morning. It reminds me that my family is home. And I am grateful for the blessing of family.