Friday, September 3, 2010

The most painful season

One thing they don’t tell you about growing up. It hurts.

Not physically. Well sure, my knees ache but whose wouldn’t? All the running I've done has put some strain on them.

I mean the emotional pain. Summer into fall, the start of the new school year, I think is more significant agewise than January 1. This time of year has always been a bittersweet time for me but this year…….

Grange Fair ended last night and with it brought the end of our first 4-H season. The smell of the cows in the hay, the friendship with the other barn folk, being with my kids . . . I’m going to miss that. The promises unkept – my son mentioned last night that we didn’t play bingo together like I had promised. Right now, all I want to do is run home, grab him and hug him.

There have been lots of subtle changes this year. From the very noticeable aging of my dad, to my daughter and grandson moving away. My oldest son will be graduating from college this December and who knows where he will be this time next year.

Sometimes the pain is so intense that it takes literally all of my strength not to run home crying. Does everyone feel this way? It seems that there is an optimal time in life – a window of about 15 years—during which (if you’re lucky), you have it all: your parents, your grandparents, your young kids, your aunts and uncles. And we, at least I did, take that time for granted. If I had only known that I would miss them all this intensely, I would have made every minute count. I would not have squandered precious time doing nothing or worse, wishing for tomorrow.

Beginning today, I’m going to enjoy my kids in the present. I am so lucky that my kids are truly kids. I see many of my daughters’ classmates wearing makeup and dressed like, well, teenagers. I love that my daughters still love horses and cows and all other animals. I love that my son still wants to cuddle and is always willing to give me a hug.

I know that these feelings will pass—that I will soon become comfortable with the new season and enjoy the cool, crisp autumn. I know that I will—probably as soon as tonight—yell at my kids for fighting, talking back, not doing their chores, or any of a number of other things.

But for the moment, the pain is incredible.

Winter then fall

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