I’m in a holding pattern. The official countdown is 14 days. That’s when I will get to see both of my children again, under the same roof, at the same time, granted, that “roof’ will be a Holiday Inn Express near Winston-Salem, NC, but beggars can’t be choosers! Kaitlin will be receiving her Masters Degree in English Literature from Wake Forest University, and we are flying Patrick down for the event.
We have reached the season in life where we can count on one hand the number of times we are all together as a family, which is natural I suppose since for 20 years we could count on one hand the number of times that we weren’t all together! We see Kaitlin much more than Patrick, and now that she has a job teaching English in Henrico County starting in August that discrepancy will grow even larger. Even though this bothers me…a lot, it falls into the ever expanding category of things about which I can do nothing. I can’t imagine many scenarios which will bring Patrick back to Richmond upon completion of his Masters studies at Westminster, so I will have to get used to these infrequent family reunions. Actually I consider myself fortunate that I will have Kaitlin so close. Many parents can't even say that.
I look at the calendar and see Thanksgiving, Christmas, perhaps Easter, and summer vacation as the four opportunities for family togetherness in the years ahead. Of course there will be many other trips to see one or the other of them, especially once they marry and especially once grandchildren arrive. But for now, it’s those four. This is not a bad thing, something to lament and complain about. It means that my children are getting on with life, becoming functioning adults, fully participatory citizens. It also means they haven’t become unemployed, aimless wastrels living rent free in their old bedrooms, good thing since Patrick’s old bedroom is now a movie room. Sorry Bud.
What this all means is that we will have to make the most of our opportunities. Two weeks from today will be a fabulous day. We will celebrate Kaitlin’s accomplishments; we will go to see the Great Gatsby, we will eat an expensive dinner somewhere, then sit around drinking coffee and having fun.