Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday – Kind of Taken by Surprise

The kids always give Calvin a hard time because he can’t keep a surprise.  He tries, he really does, but if something is good – like a birthday present – he just can’t help but tell you about it.  It’s quite endearing and we all love that about him.  While I was gone to Seattle Calvin did two surprises.  Cali and Ty knew about them, but he promised them he wouldn’t tell me.  And he didn’t.  For three whole days.  Then he agreed when I asked really, really nice.  He installed a new over-the-stovetop microwave and a little air conditioner in the storage room.  What great surprises!  (As you will remember, our microwave died six months ago.)  I appreciate Calvin, and that he tries to surprise me, and that he can’t keep surprises.

Ty, on the other hand, won’t budge on a surprise.  He told us that he and Michelle had left a surprise for us in Moses Lake, but he wouldn’t tell us where it was until Calvin and I were both home together.  Once Ty and Michelle knew we were both home they sent us a text with the first clue:

A fabulous time with you we had,
In leaving you we were pretty sad.
Along with part of our hearts which we left behind,
We also left some things for you two to find.

Next to the piano in the music holder of tin,
This is where your treasure hunt begins.
Find your first clue and follow it to clue #2.
Keep going and going and then you’ll find something for you!

The treasure hunt led us out through the shop, the garage, and my new fort.  Finally, we found two movie tickets and giant Symphony bars hidden in a closet.  What a fun thing to come home to.  I appreciate Ty and Michelle and their surprise.

The bubble popped.  I haven’t had a crisis about all the kids moving away until yesterday.  Suddenly I really realized that they all have their very own families and homes now.  I didn’t recognize how much I still thought of Ande and Ty as being at home even though they were in other states going to college.  Until yesterday.  It’s not terribly painful, but it did close down one vein in my heart temporarily.  They’re gone.  They’re really gone.  I was surprised to feel it as I assumed I’d already dealt with an empty house when Ande went away to college.  Not so.  Hmmm.  I’m glad I have a bit of Pollyanna in me.  I have learned through the years to find something good (as Ma [from The Little House books] always says, “There is no great loss without some small gain”) in situations.  I remember one time when I worried Calvin was going to die and I got sooooo very sad.  So very sad.  I knew I would go crazy with dread and grief thinking about it, so I tried to find the good in case that happened.  I came up with, “I will never have to make bread again if I don’t want to,” and “I will never have to iron shirts again.”  That was the sum total of my small gain, but it was enough to temporarily distract me.  (Sometimes that looking-for-the-good game is dangerous though. Sometimes you can amass quite a pile of small gains and you lose perspective on the great loss.  Just warning you.)  So today I will begin to enjoy the small gains – like cooking beets for supper because there is not one kid here to complain.  I am happy that the kids have created great families, have valuable skills, and wonderful opportunities ahead, so I shall focus on that, too.  And it’s always nice to remember that we’re on our way into the next generation.  There.  I’m feeling better already.  But one more reason to blog, I say.


Barb said...

Dang, you mean you cope with them moving away to college and then you cope again when they have their very own homes and families???
When my friends ask me if I'm sad that Jaclyn is going away to college I tell them I figure I'm not allowed to be sad considering this was my goal for Jaclyn all along. But I'm sure going to miss her.


Love this post...grateful for a full house...Stacy & family lived with us for a semester...one thing I have learned, they multiply and return....LOVE IT...ENJOY THE BEETS...dear friend

Lucy said...

Oh...this makes me cry a little because I sometimes have this feeling as a child of a family that no longer exists as it once did. Of course, there are HUGE gains in our spouses and our kids and our evolving adult relationships, but, sometimes, I can feel that very vein clamp down when I remember the good times that once were.

That being said, I am glad that I never have to eat beets that my mother serves for dinner. Pluses all around!

Glad you have surprises and wonderful people to tell you about them or keep them secret.

Deanna/Mimi said...

Enjoyed your message. There is definitely an adjustment when the "nest" is empty. I call it the "circle of life". We are born, raised, become independant, educated, married, babies.....then all of a sudden those babies are becoming indepdendant, educated, married, etc. Every generation has had to go through it. Having said that...I think it is really tough on us mommas. But then comes the grandbabies, then the great grandbabies and we find contentment again. Where once there was just you and Calvin, then your children and now look...Levin is here...and then many, many more to come to one of the greatest, most loving families I know. God bless.

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I love surprises, but I am also terrible at keeping them. I love the gift from Ty and Michelle makes mexwant to do it for my parents. Yeah for finding the good in being apart. I say thank goodness for cell phones.

melanie said...

I cried a little reading this. I was really sad to see all that change too, yet what would I do without my family now? Such similar feeling to Lucy here.

I love beets. And I do love your perspective. It hurts, yet you know what you need to do to enjoy the next phase. Miss you.

What movie will you see??

Ande Payne said...

Oh Mom you make me feel so good. It feels good to be missed, doesn't it? I miss you too. I forget I'm not at "home" anymore sometimes too. I sure love you.

Jill said...

Oh this hurts my heart for you, but I love the way you described it. It seems to me that your kids LOVE being home and that you and Calvin do such a great job of making home a wonderful place to be that you'll never have to worry about them staying away for long.

Deidra said...

Secrets are just about the worst form of torture for me, so I'm with Calvin here!

But again, those were some wonderful surprises!

michelle said...

oh dear. My hurt is hurting for you, and for the future me. I dread this happening in my family, even though it means good things for my children! I dread them moving away and not coming back... sigh.

I love beets, too. And I especially loved your parenthetical remarks about losing perspective on the great loss. You are a crack-up, Jane.