Thursday, July 19, 2007

Family Transitions

July 19, 2007

As I sit here at my desk with my first attempt to write a blog – (yes at 54 years old I can still learn new tricks) – I have a heightened awareness of the wonder of summertime. It is a time of renewal for me, as the program year ends and I begin to breathe again. I hope it is a time for renewal for you as well.
In this time of reflection and reading I am often distracted by the reality of my own life. With my third and youngest child going off to college this fall, I am acutely aware of the value and awe of family life. Two out of three of my children are home for the summer and I cherish every moment that we spend together.
With that in mind I have realized that I have gathered a plethora of resources for nurturing and “being” family, tools for the journey, and that this venue would be a place to share them. Some of them are obviously faith centered and some of them are more covertly spiritual. The first one is a ritual for sending your “child” off to college:

On the event of the last family gathering before your daughter/son leaves for college, (whether it is around the table after dinner, or as you pack the last dorm necessity in the car), ask each member of the family to go and retrieve one small item from their possessions that will most remind the departing teen of yourself. Parents are included in this search as well. You may need to put a time limit on it if you have some who will think about it too much. When everyone has returned, they present their trinket and tell the youth why this should remind her/him of you. There will undoubtedly be some laughter and possibly some tears, but a piece each of you will be with her/him as they start the next leg of their journey.

I am always in awe and wonder at the many ways in which we can get a glimpse of God's love, and the presence of my family is at the top of my list. It just makes me want to dance!