The seasons are changing. My wind chime sings on the porch. I’m covered by my patchwork quilt on my favorite oversized chair. The sky was a sheet of gray today before darkness descended by 7:00. All harbingers of winter. There are four seasons up North, but Spring and Autumn generally feel like shorts before the feature films of Summer and Winter. Spring brings anticipation of a Pure Michigan summer but we’d like to slo-mo fall. Those second summer days. The treeline a canvas blaze of glory. Every single leaf painting the town, dancing on a limb in the breeze before it releases from the tree. Rocked peacefully, it floats toward its place of rest.
The weather isn’t the only thing a-changing…Within less days that it takes to turn a page on a calendar, my baby turned legal adult. Another one changed her name and two more added a plus 1 to the number next to their age. For a few weeks, I felt like a squirrel skittering across the road chaotically transporting the next nut. On task. Bulking up on moments. Digging holes to preserve memories I don’t want to lose. Preparing for scarcity. Now it’s all over and like the squirrel will do this winter, I’m shivering in the cold.
I am no longer a mom of children. One day, my kid needed a legal guardian. The next I could no longer access any information on her bills I still pay due to HIPPA privacy laws.
We celebrated her beautiful life with friends and family and flowers and photos. One after another, 23 characters in her story descended on the little donut shop where she works, each bearing a stem in honor of our wildflower. And now her adult story begins.
Then, in a world where there are Octobers, there was a wedding. Our Lovely chose her l’e`poux and with vows and a ring, made it official. With a parent on either arm, she walked the aisle of the White Way of Delight, toward her groom. It has been a privilege to companion her through all of her Anne of Green Gables childhood and now she’s chosen a new travelling partner to walk into her Pure Michigan future with.
The birth certificate verified that another turned 22. According to Taylor Swift, it’s the miserable, magical inauguration into being “happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way”. Not for this one. After a 5K jog and a chicken pizza dinner, she went to sleep next to her dude wearing the wedding band on his fourth left finger and that’s just how she wants it.
The one who first called me Mommy continues to aspire toward autonomy nirvana. As if living 150 miles away and being a financially independent professional isn’t enough to prove her emancipation, she needed a Kitchen Aid. So we made her birthday mixer dreams come true and blessed her on her way to bake carrot cupcakes with her new kitchen tool.
My life as a mom, now, is mostly waving, cheering, praying and blessing them on their way to their wish-dreams.
But every season has it’s own glory. Moments to savor. Memories to treasure. Events to celebrate.
I didn’t know that before I spent all those Texas years without it. And I ached for what I no longer had. Life is like that for moms too.
But, to both moms and squirrels, God gifted adaptive survival savvy, each according to our own design. The shivering we each experience, it’s not just an indicator that the weather or the relational climate is cold, it generates heat and keeps us warm regardless of the elements. In God’s grand plan, I am resourced by what He provides in order to live out my maternal destiny in every season. I am not more or less than what He made me to be.
So much changes with the seasons but not His love.
Not His delight
Not His companionship.
Not His faithfulness.
And for today, that is mercy enough.