Our oldest daughter at home will soon be 19 years old. She graduated from high school in the spring and she has recently started taking college classes. At the minute, she still lives at home, works two jobs, and commutes to her classes. But it is just not the same as when she was my little girl.
Our youngest daughter returned to high school just a couple of weeks ago, and she is in the 11th grade. I am definitely not ready for this! Which perhaps seems strange to other people who know that I’ve been doing this mama thing for a really, really long time.
I guess it is just what God has given me to do, and I have found my life’s work here at home with my little family. It’s not that I don’t have anything else to do . . . I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) classes online seven mornings a week. I am also currently teaching an online writing class for a local university. And, of course, I have the ministry of RUBY magazine and community to keep me out of trouble most days.
When we traveled to China in 2002 and then again in 2005 to bring our daughters home (after each raising four children before we married each other), we knew that our lives would be filled with “kid” stuff for many years to come. And we also knew that we will never retire, but we decided that having a family together outweighed all of the perceived “limitations” of beginning a new family in our mid-40s. We knew other people would think we were crazy, but it’s what we felt God had called us to do.
So here I am, almost 15 years after of last trip to bring our baby back to her “forever family,”and I am struggling a bit with the reality that they don’t stay little forever. Of course, I know that but still . . .
Today I remain focused on all of the other tasks that God has for me to complete in the coming months and years, and try not to think too long and hard about all of the “kid stuff” that will no longer be part of my every day life.
But then again, there is still the homework that needs to be finished (by tomorrow morning, of course!) and the college essay that needs to be edited – why not, that’s what I do for a living – and football games, dorm parties, and fortunately for our family, Family Game Night is still pretty popular around here.