As I write this, I am tucked away upstairs. I can hear the “thump-thump” of the base coming through the Bluetooth speaker at the year-end gathering of more than 75 teenage band students that have swarmed my backyard and the downstairs of my home. Towels to catch the dripping water from their swimsuits line the floor from the back door to the dining room, where an unbelievable amount of food has been consumed.
My home has been the location for many gatherings such as this (some smaller, some bigger) over the past four years since my oldest started high school. There have been trumpet sectionals here at 7:30 in the morning when there was no place else for them to practice. There have been Christmas parties, farewell parties, graduation parties… all of which cause me to be displaced, leave a mess for me to clean up, yet create abundant joy and gratitude in my heart.
My oldest son is graduating from high school; that rite of passage we all go through as we walk our path into the future. But as a mother, I now understand that it is a rite of passage for parents as well. Who are we, and who will we choose to become? What part of ourselves that was set aside to make room for our children will re-emerge, but with a wisdom and perspective previously unknown to us?
I am in the first leg of that passage, and thankfully I have two (short) years to gather myself for the second leg, when my youngest will go off to college. And as I feel the tears build behind my eyes at the thought of that time, I also feel anticipation and hope, not too different from how I felt when I was that teenager, graduating and going off to college.
And so goes the soul journey….