This morning as the wind howls, I found myself in the most unusual position of having a wee bit of time to myself. After doing a couple of chores and surfing Facebook, I checked on the blogs of a couple of favorite friends - and realized how very long it had been since we'd all hung out together. I have happy memories of times at the river and parks, splashing, talking, laughing. It wasn't really so long ago.
Friendships, and life, seem to go in phases. You don't always know that you're in a phase, and often don't realize when you're leaving it, but in retrospect it can be very clear. That time in my life with little babies and toddlers - gone. Most of those friends have long moved on. That space of time early in our homeschooling career when we found our local homeschooling group, hung out at the library and local parks, and had actual free time - faded away. That sturdy time of solid homeschooling, when all three boys were close enough together to do pretty much the same thing, when our schedule was our own to plan, when we had 2 other homeschooling families with kids about the same age who became as close as cousins to us, that's gone now too.
We're in a new stage, but I'm too close to really see the whole of it yet. My 3 boys are going in different directions, all at once. Bit Boy is a straight "A" high school/college student. In the fall he'll be taking 16 credit hours. While he isn't unkind to his brothers, he rarely has time for them. Although he is helpful when asked, participates in the family when requested, he is very much independent now. (Well, except for needing rides everywhere...sigh...) Lego Kid's voice keeps creeping lower as he campaigns to go to the last year of middle school starting next fall. He still plays with Hot Dog, but less often and with less patience than before. I can see he's getting his wings ready for some test flights. Hot Dog has finally found a couple of things all his own (soccer and violin, especially soccer) and is still happy to homeschool. I'm grateful for that, but I wonder how long it can last when his brothers are away in school all day. His best bud has decided to go to school next year too. With me needing to transport his brothers we won't be able to slip down to Denver or up to the mountains for all those fun field trips that are one of the huge benefits of homeschooling. I would love to keep homeschooling him as long as possible, so I guess I'll need to find a new rhythm there too.
I notice deaths and births in our social circles. In my own family now we are in a phase of looming deaths as my grandparents generation approaches their 90's and our own children are as yet too young for the rounds marriages and births to start. That makes me all the more grateful when I see the babies of young friends in life, or even on the social networks.
Melancholy - that's this morning.