Friday, November 28, 2008

Changing Seasons

Autumn turns to winter. Winter turns to spring. And on and on. So it is with life.

Wednesday afternoon, I felt like a guest in my own kitchen as I watched Autumn bake rolls and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. She cut up celery and onion for her stuffing and cleaned up the kitchen. I did prepare supper that night, but it wasn't the same.

Thanksgiving morning, she set to work preparing her stuffing, and getting the turkey in the oven. I still had a hand in the meal as I made mashed potatoes, gravy, pear salad, another stuffing recipe, and Merry Berry Cheese Bars. But it wasn't the same.

Autumn asked if she could do the rolls, pies, stuffing, and turkey because next year she'll be a married woman. I was happy to allow her this time of practice, and she did a wonderful job. But, it's hitting me hard. This time next year, she'll be a married woman.

She'll no longer be here to help me if I need her. She'll no longer be singing in the kitchen as she works. I'll no longer hear Yo- Yo Ma on the CD player as she does dishes. I'll no longer go to her door in the morning and sit on the edge of her bed talking and laughing as Daisy kisses her face to wake her.

And then, there's Mac. He worked with me in the kitchen yesterday morning as I prepared the second stuffing recipe. He cracked jokes while I worked, and stirred the celery and onion as it cooked on the stove. He thanked me for being a good cook because, "I'm sure that millions of people are eating Stove Top stuffing all across America today." He helped me with the dishes, and whistled and sang the entire time. And then, he got his guitar and sat in the kitchen chair while I wiped the table and such.

This morning as I perused a few blogs, he sat beside and asked, "Do you have a Blissfully Domestic button on your sidebar?"

"No. I'm not blissfully domestic."

"Mom! Yes you are!"

"Oh, I guess I am!"

"I'll take your picture pouring orange marmalade into jars, and we'll make you a button!"

" thanks."

"C'mon, Mom. It'll be fun!"

He graduates this year and will head off to college in the fall. Sure, he'll be back for Thanksgiving. I'm fairly certain he won't miss a home-cooked holiday meal. He may even be back on random weekends, as I don't think he'll be more than 3 hours from home, but it's the everyday banter that I'll miss. Mac is quick-witted, and he and I have personalities that do very well together. Admittedly, I'm tough on him, but he knows it's because I'm spurring him to be the best he can be. He's funny, and charming, and helpful.

I did well yesterday. Until late in the evening. I looked around the living room, and my emotions took over. As Jon left, I hugged him and told him that I was glad he was here with us. And I meant it with all of my heart. I like counting us as a family of 8 rather than 7. And then he left, and I realized that next year, if he's here for Thanksgiving, Autumn will be leaving with him, too. And then Mac will head back to school. And our family of 8 will be a family of 5, and nothing will ever be the same again.


Sheri said...

Tracy, you have such a godly mother's heart and this post brought tears to my eyes. Tears because I can't imagine having little ones leaving home and also because I think of my own mom who has her baby girl (me), hundreds of miles away. How do people do it without Jesus?

But, I know there will be joy with all these changes in your life and I look forward to reading more of what our Heavenly Father has in store. *Hugs*

His Girl said...


I read a twitter entry from a blogger who has grown children who are visiting for thanksgiving, and got all choked up just thinking about peeking at my own children of the future, all grown and visiting, sleeping in their 'old' bedrooms and feeling the ache of knowing they'll be headed for 'home' the next day.

it's a sobering thought- but I keep telling myself it's meant to make me appreciate all the minutes I have with them while they still live here.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you Tracy, I've been feeling the same way myself. My daughter (who will be 19 in Spring) is planning on going away to college next summer. I admit that I'm struggling at times with this. I just have to take one day at a time, and keep trusting the Lord.

God Bless,
love, Tina xx

marilenearndt said...

...and there are so many mother's who just can't wait until their kids leave for college, so they can use the free space for something else...


Gena said...

I can certainly feel for you. My two oldest are in college and not home and then there's my sweet hubby. I did fine, too, until last night.

You will be wonderful next year. I think the excitement builds even more when you know you have a short time with your children when they come to visit. I love weekends when mine come home - it is the best treat ever.

I am so excited for Autumn. Imagine - being young and looking forward to your marriage. I know she had a very thankful Thanksgiving!

P.S. I will keep you in my prayers.

lady jane said...

((( tender embrace )))

bittersweet. yes. it is.

bless you this moment.


Mrs. Rabe said...

Lady Jane said what I was thinking, "bittersweet."

Her joyous face is so sweet!

I am glad for you that she will be nearby.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's all true Tracy, I cannot deny it. It's hard to have them growing up. My "baby" will be 5 in January-she's not so much a baby anymore and I'm missing that.
However, my oldest and her family were here for Thanksgiving lunch (my dh works on Thanksgiving so we eat early). After we ate, they volunteered to clean up my kitchen and then they headed out to the other grandma's house.
The nice thing about it is that although they aren't there for the day to day stuff, they present you with grandchildren. :-)
While his mom and dad cleaned my kitchen, my(7 month-old)grandson and I came to grandma's bed and took a nap. :-) It helps ease the missing them when you have grandbabies. I realize that it may be awhile, but it's something to look forward to.

Abounding Treasures said...

As Jane said, "Bittersweet. Yes it is."

Our daughter will be home again for an almost 2 week visit over Christmas and will be sleeping in her *old* room and we'll have special moments and memories to treasure but it won't ever be the same. I will miss her all over again when she leaves for her *new* home.

I will pray for her and ask the Lord to keep and preserve her and to help me leave her in His hands since He knows best.

But, oh, how I will miss her!

Blessings to all of you!

Tracy said...

Tracy I have tears in my eyes ... because the seasons are changing in our home too. Next year my first baby will enter high school.

I think even though the next year will be full of first's for you, that the new normal that settles upon your family will be as precious in its own way, as the yesterday's that will fill your memory. It will look different, and one can't help but grieve just a little for the changes. But the new season will bring its own beauty and preciousness too.

If you ever want someone to cry with I'm your gal LOL.

Anonymous said...

It can be hard at times... I often ask myself where the time has gone. It feels surreal at times, as my teenagers become more like adults and less like the babies I once nursed in my arms.

I love this post Tracy, thank you for your beautiful honesty...


~~Deby said...

oh...I sure do know these was a emotionally charged time for me...I was a full time mother who loved it....but can I give you hope here..on the flip side...Jim and I are enjoying these empty nest years....more than I can ever say or feels like it is a bomus, or gift for raising our do survive....cry out to the Lord.....and know that you will be okay.

Jodi said...

Ah, ((Tracy)), such precious days ... such painful days. Thinking of you, my friend.

50s Housewife said...

Oh Tracy, I know how you are feeling. Right after my oldest son left home (for bootcamp) I set out 7 plates on the table as usual. The tears started to flow after I remembered that there were only 6 of us. It's hard to see them leave home, but so rewarding to see what fine adults they become.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tracy, I'm in a very different season of my life (young couple, expanding family), but I remember the look on Mom's face a few days before my wedding. There was profound happiness, yet like others here said, it was bittersweet. We both knew what it meant: no more bedtime talk, no more making cookies together... and now, she is so looking forward to becoming a grandmother, yet she misses having me at home. Not that we would want to go back. But it can't be denied saying goodbye is hard!

miss gracies house said...

HI Tracy,Just popped over from LadyJane's...
I soooo know about this time of change. It is such a bittersweet time of life. I'm trying so much to *live in the moment* but that just makes me cry...Children are such a blessing and they fill our home with so much life.
I've appreciated my time here, thank you.