As we welcomed students back to campus at the University where I work it hit me - this is the first time in THIRTY ONE YEARS I have not had a child returning to school in the fall. My eldest daughter started kindergarten in 1987 and my son just finished college in May.
This thought caused me to pause - and I had to redo the math. Yes 2018 - 1987 = 31.
When you have children in school there is a heightened sense of excitement and preparation for Autumn. There are so many things to do such as back to school clothes shopping, getting school supplies, registering for classes, arranging transportation and meet your teacher night.
For a moment I was sad. I do miss the excitement of preparing for the school year, the anticipation I shared with my children and hearing about what happened during the school day.
However 31 years is probably enough, and probably longer than most mother's get to experience having children in school.
Once I realized this I moved from sadness to satisfaction. I felt a sense of accomplishment that for such a long time I was able to get children up and out the door prepared and ready to learn. I did my best and am satisfied with that. Realizing this I moved from feeling satisfaction to feeling wonder.
Wonder that my life - like your own life - has unfolded in succinct and identifiable chapters. My Life Book includes these chapters:
overprotected only child developing anorexia
clueless young bride and homemaker
look I kept the baby alive for 6 weeks on my own
single mother of three, working four jobs
adult college student with big dreams
What chapters are in the table of contents of your Life Book?
Since our lives are like a good book, what about living the same way you read a long novel - giving yourself without reservation to the chapter you are currently on, not getting hung up on earlier chapters or peeking at the ending. Realizing instead that every chapter is an equally important part of the whole, trusting the ending has been thoughtfully written as well.
The chapter I am currently 'reading' is the chapter about legacy - determining what my lasting contribution to making the world a kinder place looks like. For short it is the Farmstead chapter - the chapter where Mr. Fossler and I create a safe, welcoming place where animals and humans share love - on our farm. More to come on this!