It’s been a wild ride.
But here I am, settling back into a normal, albeit new routine, and it feels good.
Two weeks ago, we took kiddo #3 to Madison for the State National History Day event. We toured the Capitol. We ate Nepalese. And she, with her intrepid partner, did great, and had the 5th best Junior website in Wisconsin. No small potatoes.
This weekend I took #2 to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Hung out with Warren and Charlie. You know, our billionaire peeps. Quite the momentous opportunity, and we had a great time, despite rising at 2:45 to get in line like Taylor Swift groupies and a slightly stronger-than-the-usual-cuppa-joe redneck flavor at the campground. Bill Gates and I locked gazes. I’m pretty sure I made it into his will.
But last week, in between those exciting-in-their-own-right events, was the cake-taker. Despite my repeated instructions to my children to not grow up, we dropped off #1 at the edge of the Wilderness for 6 months. She landed a gig with a Boundary Waters outfitter for the extended summer, and spread her wings like a pro at the end of the Gunflint. Mom is recovering, but still a bit lost. Sigh.
Sometimes you have to be grateful for the busyness; this month has been a prime example. Honestly, without the flitting NHD run and the jetsetting and hobnobbing in Berkeyville, I may have gone crazy.
I’ve watched two step-kids go out into the world before this kiddo, but for the past decade they were only with us for half of the time. Their in-and-out every week was the norm, their lives at school kept them away from home much more than they were here, and saying goodbye was a literal daily occurrence.
With these three, things are different. They are bone of my bone, yes, but much more than that, we have spent the better part of every waking hour together since their births. They’ve never known the dance that happens between houses in split families, and they’ve never (almost never) been subjected to the school bus that takes them away for the majority of their lives. They’ve lived, learned, and loved their whole lives through here with me, day in, day out. For better or for worse. And as I see clearly now, their transition out into the world will be a little harder on me.
There is a hole, that I cannot deny. But the kid that took 5 years to warm up to a week-long church camp enough to not cry her way through is apparently ready for the world, for she hardly shed a tear.
I, on the other hand, am learning my weaknesses.
Life is good,