Currently I’m sitting in my front room, with only one other person in the house. That person is Jack, who happens to be watching tv, so unless he needs more popcorn, I’m basically a free woman. I will embrace this quiet, this bliss, for as long as I can. Quiet time at our house is a rare thing, especially during the summer of 2016. I think in total, I have had about 4 hours alone since May 26th. That may seem like an exageration to you, but I assure you I am not given to hyperbole when it comes to my alone time.
Please don’t assume I’m complaining about my constant and never ending lack of “me time”. I actually LOVE being with people. This is a good thing, given the fact that we have had family living with us for a month this summer, along with their two cats. And sadly, now it is time to wrap up one of the sweetest summers the Repennings have ever had.
I won’t bore you will all the details. Besides you were probably out doing much of the same things we were doing. I guess at the heart of my summer joy was being with the people I love most in this world. Now I wouldn’t want to go and paint some unrealistic picture of our life, all Norman Rockwellian and such. I have 2 teenagers, a third child who doesn’t think my humor is funny, and a 4 year old that thinks she is running the show. Truth be told, teens are hard, sometimes I’m not funny, and sometimes she is running the show.
Jack worked all summer, part time, and Faith worked for me watching her sister. Will’s number one job was to enjoy life, and play with our dog. All in all, they met our expectations, and made a little money in the process. Watching Jack have a job was amazing. Not only did he have a good attitude, those YMCA kids loved him. Having younger siblings really prepared Jack for bossing kids around all day. He didn’t love when they put their ear wax on his shorts or took his food, but he had fun, and even more, learned what it means to work.
Watching your kid interact with other adults, hold a job, and show signs of normalcy is wild. I remember Jack as a toddler—his nickname was “Bitey” because he would bite us all the time. A parent has to wonder how a kid that bites their mother will ever hold down long term employment. He also had a habit of being completely self-involved. This is something we haven’t quite resolved yet, but he is able to set his “me wanties” aside in order to function in the real world. Truly, it is amazing to watch a person grow up before your eyes.
I have sworn off all sappy songs about kids growing up and time moving on for the next few years. I just can’t take it. I’ve known this is coming, and I was never one of those moms who wanted her babies to take their first step, ride a bike, go to school, drive cars, work…but Jack has done all these things, and Faith is not far behind him. Hovering over them, and forcing them to live in a bubble has never been my thing, but don’t think I am not fighting every urge to not let go of these four fascinating people, who for some beautiful reason, God thought Billy and I needed to be their mom and dad.
Jack is now a Junior in high school, and Faith is in 8th. Will begins 6th grade next week, and Zoe will start pre-school in September. No one except my pre-schooler is happy to start another year all over again. I’m with the big kids on this one. I’d really like to go back in time and put them all in preschool and diapers. I wouldn’t have to tell them to turn off their devices, and I wouldn’t have to worry about who hurt their feelings today, or how dangerous driving on Wadsworth is any time of day. I’d just cuddle with them on the couch, kiss their owies, and watch them in awe as they learned how to count to 5.
There’s no time to linger on what cannot be and what once was. Everything has a season, as the writer of Ecclesiastes 3 says. The 11th verse says God has made everything beautiful in its time, He has set eternity in man’s heart, and no one can fathom all that God has done. God has given us these sweet summer days, a season to enjoy and relish, and now is the time to move on. We thank Him for the knowledge that this life is not eternity, and we thank Him for all that He is doing, and has done on our behalf.
Another year to give them over to One who loves them even more than I.
Another year to let go and watch them become.
Another year to pray for protection from the world, and themselves.
Another year to hold them close and love them well.
Another year to let God be God, stand back, and watch in awe as He does His thing.