Monday, July 31, 2006
This a picture that I took last year of my daughters and "my" two other kids. The dark-haired girl on top of the "dog pile" is my oldest daughter's best friend. They met back in kindergarten and Kaitlyn lived just three doors down from us. She is as much my daughter as the other girls are! *grin* Even though we have moved and the girls go to different schools they are still close. The blonde is Jordan, my now almost 15 year old. The other brunette is her "little" sister, Sierra. And the boy trying to look cool is my other "son", Brandon. He and Sierra are the same age--13 now. He is over here so much that he may as well be mine! He and my son, Vincent (18) are good friends and they go skate boarding together or just hang out and play video games. He's a good kid 95% of the time--it's that 5% when he's NOT that worries me!! *grin* (Did I tell you about how he jumped off my roof into the pool? Yeah, you get the picture!!)
I look at this picture and wonder where my kids are going to be five years from now. Ten years. Twenty. Are they still going to be friends? Will they have children of their own? What does life have in store for them?
When I was in school, I couldn't imagine not staying in touch with my classmates. We were a small class of about 50 students. Most of us had been together since 1st grade. Our parents had gone to school together also--ours was a tight-knit community of farmers and dairymen, with a strong Christian ethic and morals that were handed down from generation to generation. We scoffed at anyone who told us it wouldn't always be like this--what did they know anyway?! We were the Wild and Crazy Class of '80--we would always be together!!
But graduation day came, and with it the inevitable changes that we all go through. Many of our friends moved away to Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Illinois to attend college. Some of us married people not from our community and moved on to other places. A girl who was my best friend all through elementary school and beyond moved to Michigan and I haven't seen her in 25 years... I realized the other day that the only people I see with any frequency are three of the girls that attend the same church that I do. I never see any of the guys other than Henry, who was my best guy friend in high school. (He has since married a nice girl and has four great kids that my daughters are lucky enough to babysit once in awhile!) One of the guys has since died from AIDS, and another is now blind because of a serious illness. But the truth is, we have all grown up and drifted apart, just like everyone said we would. Who knew?
There is no crystal ball that we can gaze into to see our futures. I'm not sure that I would want to even if I could. I kind of like the not knowing, the joy of unexpected outcomes to every-day decisions. It keeps life interesting!
So I look at my kids, and I pray that life will be kind to them. I hope that all of their dreams come true. I wish that they can keep their friends from childhood all the way through the turmoils of the teen years up into the roller coaster ride that is the "joy" of adulthood. (Being an adult is highly over-rated, by the way! I'd rather be a kid!) But if it's not to be, I just hope I will be there to help them get through it all. That's all any parent can do, really.