I came downstairs last night to find John, our HS senior, sprawled in the family room chatting on his cell phone. I know. How retro is that? Who talks on the phone anymore? He wasn’t texting, but was talking, so animated, laughing, doing an accent here and there and I knew in a second that he was talking to either Caitie or Tommy. I’m only just beginning to appreciate what is happening to my older kids – they’re becoming close friends.
Close friends. I am thankful. We came here 20 years ago, put our kids in a Catholic school as total strangers. I told Mike (sniff, sniff) “If I died right now there would be no one at my funeral.” Pathetic, but there you have it. I still miss my family all the time, and still feel lonely sometimes. But we really do have friends here. Once this week, I had the chance to visit quickly with one of them and we were probably funny to look at – both of us just inches apart chatting so quickly and intently, asking about the kids, some words of encouragment…we only had a minute before a meeting began and yet I felt like I’d had a quick visit with my sister. One minute of good-friend chatting can last a week. (It better!)
I spent last Friday at Wabash College, where Brian attends, and John may go this year. For those unfamiliar, Wabash is one of the only all-male colleges left in the USA. I thought the idea was interesting in principle – I went to an all-girl HS, and can see the value of single-sex education. But wouldn’t have predicted what this school can do for young men. It is an amazing place. What is amazing is that they take boys just like mine – good boys, smart boys, but maybe boys who could give a little more attention to their future…and turn them into articulate, engaged, respectful, honorable gentlemen. Really. The only thing wrong with Wabash College is that they don’t hold a class or two for some women. Just moms, you know, who would kill for that kind of education. Thank God for YouTube. I’m getting a little value added there. You can check it out at YT “Wabash College Chapel Talk”. I listen to these weekly lectures and feel smug at my free Wabash education! Wabash may make a mockery of our bank account, but I can’t hide my hope that John chooses the “Harvard of the West”. Will keep you posted.
Caroline had 3 little friends over yesterday afternoon. This is not the first time this particular group has gotten together, so now we have a routine. They change into each others’ clothes while I make lunch. I listen to them chat and wish I could stop time. Yesterday’s chatter was about grandmas. These 5 year olds were comparing notes on grandmas the way new moms talk about their babies – each so engrossing and interesting, details about each so compelling…”My Nana’s favorite color is blue.” “What! You are kidding me! So is mine! No way!!!”. Can we stop time?
I regret to report that my 8-year-old daughter and her friends talk about Justin Bieber in the same way. I do not want to stop time, in this case, but the next stage is no bargain either.
I just went to the mailbox and yeah! There was a glorious handwritten envelope and UK stamp that means a real letter from family! It was my mom’s cousin Peter – maybe aged 70 or so. He writes “I’m wondering how my grandson got to be 21, when I am only 17. (in my head). I thought I’d better nudge my little cousin into writing while I’m still here to write to. You see, I’m not above the guilt and sympathy method to try and squeeze a letter out of you.” How can I resist? Esp. when in someone’s world I can be thought of as the little cousin. That just doesn’t come cheap these days. He ends the 4 page letter with “Well, Flower, I’m closing now, my batteries are getting low. Take good care of yourself. Don’t worry about answering my letter. Just do it!”
So instead of writing a 7th Quick Take, I think I’ll write to cousin Peter in Wales. For more good stuff check out my favorite blogger, my daughter Caitie!