They are growing up. When I started this blog only three years ago, the children were still pretty young. One of my first posts was about my son's dread of going to overnight camp. Since then he's been to camp twice and to his friend's cottage three times. In June he will go on his 8th grade trip to Chicago for 4 days. He is still a homebody, almost to a fault, but he has less than two months of middle school left, and then he'll be in high school, and then...college, hopefully.
My daughter is excited about her big trip this week, and I'm excited for her, but at the same time I feel a certain dread, both about this weekend, and about things in general. She will have her turn at overnight camp in May. She has less than two months of elementary school left, and then she'll be in middle school, and then I'll be the mother of a middle schooler and a high schooler, when not that long ago they were both in elementary school and home all the time. I wonder what my days will be like when the children get busier and aren't home as much. I am starting to actually experience that now.
I am enthusiastic about the new opportunities opening to them as they age, and it is thrilling to see them grow into themselves, but it's challenging, too. Before I had children, they were never older than toddlers in my fantasies. I didn't dream about mothering tweens and teens, about overseeing Algebra homework, about visiting the orthodontist, about watching them go off without me. I'll bet most mothers don't, before they have babies.
I stitched the Home Sweet Home piece many years ago during a difficult time when I was feeling lonely and wishing I could start to create my own home sweet home. It's a little piece, from one of those kits you used to be able to buy at places like the grocery store. It hung in my kitchen for years, until I changed my decor and it didn't fit in any more. I unearthed it during a recent cleaning project, and thought its rediscovery was very timely. Wherever my children go, whatever they do, I hope they always feel this place I have created is Home Sweet Home for them.