my oldest and his girlfriend :: my middle and her bestie :: my baby and her cousin
The photos on my camera and the events of the weekend have me feeling sentimental, proud and excited about all of the growing up that's happening around me all the time, from all of them each day. Who they are becoming is so much more amplified when taken out of the context of home and family....and instead put out there in the world in relation to others. Of course, I love watching them at home and with each other and nurturing those sibling relationships that will be with them for a lifetime, through all the challenges and joys of the present and the future. But there's something so illuminating about seeing their personalities through the lens of their other - wider - worldly relationships. I get to see a whole new side of them, and it's always such a joy, and often a surprise, to feel my vision of who they are stretching wider all the while. Overhearing my fifteen-year-old be so sweet to his girlfriend. Watching my ten-year-old and her friend since babyhood as they both teeter somewhat precariously on that edge of childhood and adolescence - but do so together and slowly all the while. And seeing my nearly five-year-old far away from my side in the pasture with her cousin sharing a story, laughter, and secrets that I'll never know. And those two boys who evaded my camera this weekend, but never my thoughts or attention. A thirteen-year-old who is helping more than one friend right now through a challenging transition in their own lives, with advice I wouldn't have come up with on my own, but that he delivers with compassion. And a seven-year-old who is so shy with people outside of our family, but whom I watch open his heart freely to a boy who is fast becoming his dearest friend, a relationship just blossoming but that I have a feeling will become a beautiful long thread.
I know, so full of pride, those statements, but I'm sorry, I just can't help it this morning. As we start another week - full of the flurry of lessons and classes, school and the farm, work and play, squabbling and bickering, negotiating the schedule, and all the rest of the normal family love and life....I want to pause for just a tiny moment and a big deep breath. I am proud of these five people, I really am. And as we walk through this coming week together - looking sometimes from afar as we do when they stretch their wings - I want to remember to notice how wonderful it is to be walking alongside them on this journey. For that indeed, is such a blessing.