Bill Watterson (the creator of Calvin and Hobbes) knew this simple truth…there is treasure everywhere. Lately the quiet times…the times where we don’t have anything that must be done, have seemed like treasures. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m really not good at quiet times where there is nothing that must be done. It freaks me out. So it’s a complicated treasure, one that comes with lessons.
The same applies to life things like field trips. I excel at big, flashy events with eleventy-seven moving pieces to be juggled and executed. See Walt Disney World Trip. This year has brought me more chances for quiet and simple, if only because I’m managing one less body. September’s field trip was a hike around Raven Rock. I’m not sure if you know this about kids…they are so good at loving what is in front of them. Every moment can be the best moment ever. My little girls loved their hike through the woods as much as Ren Faire, and Layna probably liked it better. They had a digital camera of their very own (FYI, nasty BBQs are photo worthy), Corra was the boss of the map, and fruit snacks were a mid-hike refueling break. And it was lovely. Lessons for me, I tell you, Lessons.
In other news, a few nights ago my world got rocked a bit. My grandparents will be moving to Oregon for their last big adventure at the end of January. Them being gone will leave almost as big a void in my day to day as my mom dying. I’m sure I’ll post more about it in the coming months. Every holiday since June has been labeled in my head as “The last ____ without Dad” (my dad is moving here June 2023). And that thought process brings me so, so much joy. We haven’t lived in the same state since I was in first grade and we’ve got to make up some time.
Now though, I’m thinking about all the lasts I didn’t know were lasts: we had our last birthday dinners at G&G’s house, our last conference weekend with them, and now will be the last Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Much less joy and much more empty. They’ve been an active force of nature in my life since I was born. I am relieved that there is a good plan for them. Obviously they were going to be gone someday, I just thought that day was comfortably and vaguely in the distant future. It’s not. It’s in 3 months. We can still visit them, but not every week. Sigh. I’m trying to focus on what an unusual blessing it is that my kids have all developed a very close relationship with their great grandparents. I mean, who even gets that anymore? I’m so grateful.
I just wish grateful and blessed made the empty go away.