Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pie and Music

The last of the forced family fun apple picking apples.   The kids say good riddance
to the apples and apple picking in general but they do love to eat pie.
Autumn in Wisconsin.  Apple pies, homecoming dances, crispy sounding walks, pumpkins on every doorstep, swirling orange and yellow dirt devils in breezes that cut a little deeper through my jacket every day in the slide toward winter.   A gaggle of middle aged women talking Badger and Packer football on a sunny Friday and I'm strangely amongst them.  This last bit could not have been predicted with a thousand crystal balls. 

Homecoming dresses were short this year...too short if you ask me....but nobody asked me.
My family is scattering like the leaves this weekend as Chip and Ally depart for England (him to work, her to play for a few days and fly back alone) and Liv and I traveling to KU for one final campus tour.  The college aps are going in one by one with a click click click of the return key.   I can't believe it's come to this already--how did we get here?

Proud mama at band concert

Even band concerts are coming to an end for us.  Eight years of a study in adolescence set to Sousa.  I can hardly remember a time when we didn't trudge out into the cold, dark night three to six times a year, weather be damned, to mark their progress as musicians and eat a cookie.  And as much as I’ve groaned going to each and every concert, last night I found myself distracted by the very idea that after this year we won't be sitting dutifully in this auditorium anymore. And yet the band will play on without us.  Surrounded by really good friends and my husband, a hundred kids and a hundred parents many of whom I know, suddenly I got a little afraid and a little lonely. 

The madness and running around of parenting feels like it will never ever end, and then it does.  For all my complaining, I wasn't quite prepared for the feelings I had last night.  And the complaining all these years has mostly been about feeling pulled in many directions at once instead of being able to enjoy one thing at a time.

With me it's always the going that's hard, not the being there.  But it's time to stop the whining and find some joy in the going before it's too late.  Starting with the winter band concert.  I'll be there with a full and joyous heart, much like the Grinch on Christmas Day.

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