Hard to improve on Shakespeare when searching for language to capture emotion. Just back from taking my daughter and granddaughter to the airport (my son-in-law left early to work) after 10 glorious days together. Sorrow= no morning hugs from a bright-eyed 3-year old eager to enter the day’s adventure. Sweet= the privilege of participating in her way of seeing the world and watching all her breakthroughs in just a little over a week— drawing faces, playing harmonica, hiking two miles (3 times!), astounding us in the Memory game, astonishing us by recognizing every letter of the alphabet. With three teachers and a fabulous Mom and Dad surrounding her 24/7, our house was a miniature San Francisco School with language arts, math, art projects, dancing, African xylophone playing, songs, stories, cookie baking, electric trains, playground plus, hiking and more. As rich for us as it was for her.
Also sweet to note the progress of her little brother or sister incubating in Mama’s tummy. A noticeable swelling there around the three-month mark and wondering how we’ll fit in our house next Christmas. And here’s another type of sorrow unbalanced by sweet— a San Francisco housing market that makes it unlikely that they can move anytime soon closer to the grandparents. There’s something terribly wrong that young people without six- (or seven!) figure paychecks can’t live in San Francisco. Aaargh! to Silicon Valley!
And so the house falls silent once again. No more giggles, screams or patter of little feet. Time to clean and put things back into their empty nest order and that’s fine too. Time to return to our own projects, a schedule not dictated by a nap and the possibility of going out to the movies at night. As the Bible and the Byrds remind us, “to everything there is a season, Turn, turn, turn…” and I’m grateful that this Holiday Season was spent in the company of family and friends. Onward!