My daughters are growing up. It’s a daily event, but there seem to be certain waypoints along the way.
These days, my eldest is soon to begin her senior year in high school, while the twins are beginning their sophomore year.
Two of the three now have entered the workforce. Dabbled in it.
One is taking two courses at the local junior college for credit.
The twins turned 15 just Monday. The eldest is ready to turn 18 in December.
Oftentimes, as their Dad, I wonder where the time went. Maybe that’s something of my Myers-Briggs’ INTJ temperament coming thru, but in many ways it isn’t.
As parents we often get so caught up in the daily grind, we don’t notice how the kids are changing, maturing into young ladies and men on their way to being adults. Some parents coddle. INTJs like me want to give them the freedom to figure out what this world is all about, largely on their own, without hovering or “helicoptering.”
My parents raised me similarly. Not sure what Myers-Briggs Mom or Dad are. And while there are additional life lessons I wish they’d not shielded me from, I have to say I got a lot out of my youth in large part thanks to the USAF, which moved us around like ping pong balls on a pool table with no pockets. But I have to say, it worked out the way it should have. God’s way, clearly.
So as the eldest ponders colleges–she wants to get out of the South and go north–like to Indiana University, I keep reminding her that she’s free to go to any college she wants so long as it’s Auburn. I understand the desire to get as far away from home as she can. There should be enough written between the lines on this site to explain.
Many are the days when I wish I could pick up and get out of the South myself. Dreams fill my head at night of returning to the woods of Northern Michigan, where we were stationed three or four times when I was a child. I often drift to sleep with memories of the sounds of the wind racing through the evergreen pines and Birch trees that make up the deep woods of the North. I hear sounds of my footsteps echoing through the wood as I trounce on fallen leaves, step on and snap dead branches, inadvertantly kick rocks, and even the sounds of boots that slip or trudge into the dirt upon each step.
Hidden across our family land are natural springs that bubble up from the forest floor, trickling with an icy cold flow of crystal clear mana one could put a water bottle or soda can in and chill to perfection; no additional ice required.
And during the winter months, wow, do I ever miss snow. Visually, there is so much ugly in this world that I truly think the Lord created snow just to give Northern foke a break from much of it for months at a time each year. Johnny Mathis records have made immortal the sounds of him singing about that “mantle of white shining down from the night” as he’s walking in that Winter Wonderland. Few sights in life beat the shroud of freshly fallen snow, pine boughs weighed down with large clumps of white, and miles of it for as far as one’s eyes can see.
For me, many of those memories remain alive in my heart, much as this child once longed for a Tyco train set at Christmas.
Here in Texas, my daughters only vaguely know of snow and it’s allure. They’ve journeyed into my wooded playgrounds of Michigan once but need to return again. This time for longer. Someday.
September is but around the corner and in it’s third week, the leaves will be changing in the UP of Michigan. Maybe then the four of us, and guests, can once again walk into the woods ablaze with the colors of fire.
For now, I must leave you with these thoughts. My girls grow closer to becoming women each day; each with their powerful names to encourage them to prosper and seek out the best of what this life is all about. I’m proud of each of them, my darlings, Chandler, Reagan and Haley.
As the autumn of my life draws closer each day, late spring blossoms for my children and life races onward with us all ensnared its infinite circle…..