Our oldest child recently went away to California to start her family. It took her a few tries to find her place. Now with a baby, her sense of priorities has clarified. She was the first of our children to leave. It wasn’t easy. Knowing that you need to make your own way and learn independence is different from actually doing it.
Our second is our son. He is still in high school. However, he has always wanted to join the Army. His opportunity came up when he turned seventeen. Technically, he is still a high school student. However, he can go through basic training and come back to finish his last year of school before going to his job training. Our son is still home. However, he has one foot out the door. He will be gone for the summer, at least.
Our second daughter, the baby, is just entering Junior High School. She still has seven years to go before she finishes school. However, as you get older, time seems to go by faster. She will be leaving our home before we know it. She will have our undivided attention duringher high school years. When she finishes school, I think she will be in a better position to explore the world. She will have her brother, wherever his path takes him, to visit. She will have her sister in California and her niece. Seeing her siblings leave and doing fine will assuage her uncertainty.
And, so that leaves me and Mrs. Mata to figure out who we are once again, without children. Will we travel? Will we become an old couple drinking coffee and reading books? Will be empty and bitter?
Ultimately, the day is coming in which our children will be out of the house. Mrs. Mata and I are starting to feel the reality that we are going to have to find new meaning for the days ahead when it is only she and I together. For now, we can enjoy the time we have with our son before he leaves us, and eventually our youngest.