Yesterday you finished the race. You crossed the finish line, FINALLY watching all of your children graduate from high school. Wow. You should take it east now, sit back and relax because there are NO more sports games to attend. Can I get an 'Amen'?
It only took...well, let's just say a reeeaallly long time. Let's see, Malinda graduated from high school in 1999, which means she started in....you know what it doesn't matter :). I'm not here to make you feel old, or tired. I'm here to give you a little piece of mind. That's right. In case you have ever wondered if we are truly "ready" for life outside the comforting walls of our adolescence, I'm here to tell you "we are", and I can prove it.
(Malinda's medical school graduation)
(Mack's high school graduation)
One, we are experts at herding cattle on foot. This may seem like a "so what" kind of skill to the average person, but go to the grocery store on senior citizen day and see how you fare. With my perfectly honed skills of getting close but not TOO close, and staying out of their blind spots, I can get in and out in record time. NO! You're motorized shopping cart will not come between me and my butter. Occasionally having my paddle handy would be advantageous, but I just focus on their cart and stay loose, remembering that sudden movements may spook them.
Another life skill that we have taken on the road I touched on earlier. The 'don't be the last one out the door' lesson. It's really more for survival. In a family of 5 kids you don't want to be the last one to anything, be it work or supper. You know what happens when you're the last one? You end up with clay mud stains on your ballet tights because you had to go get the horse in the dark, who was on the opposite side of the world. It was muddy, you were shaking you're trusty feed bucket, yelling "Panchooooo!" at the top of your lungs WHILE trying to navigate mud puddles. In the dark. With one hand on a barbed wire fence. With holes in your hand-me-down boots, and plastic bags on your feet that your Mom swore would "work". Well they didn't and the disappointed look you got from Miss Amy at dance class was just icing on the cake. Now not only did you not only have the most "quality" thighs in dance class, but they now resembled giraffe spots. This is merely an example though...you know, not "real". Lesson here? If you're slow everywhere else that's fine, but you must be lightning quick in the common sense department.
Mom and Dad, the last lesson I'm going to talk about is one that I am most appreciative of. You might not have said it but it was always there, understood like your love for us. That lesson is that, you can always go home. No matter what. Home never changed. The place you brought us as newborns, is the same place we left when we thought we knew it all. Home was where we never wanted to be. It was boring. It meant work, and hard lessons. It wasn't always fun. But it's where we all came from. It's the tie that binds us all. When were home, standing in the kitchen with the SAME dishwasher that has ALWAYS been there, we're family. We're your 5 children, with pieces of you in all of us. Suddenly the place we tried so hard to leave, is the place we all gravitate toward.