“Winter -like the season” this phrase has always been part of our identity when giving our names to people. Sitting here in the sweltering Panhandle heat, I am reminded of how quickly seasons change -almost within a few minutes. A Panhandle snow can blanket the landscape in a dazzling white wonderland and be completely evaporated into memory the next day. Heck sometimes the next hour.
The same can be said for The Winter’s and the seasons we’ve traveled through. As much as I’d like to slow things down a bit or hop in a blue time machine box, I am forced to accept the inevitable season of change befalling the Winter household. The boy has graduated and moved to Dallas to begin a career. The oldest girl is putting her wedding together for the Fall. And the last little Winter enters her last year of high school. How and when did we get to this stage in our lives?
My first born- It doesn’t seem that long ago he fussed at me to teach him to read when he was 3 years old. The boy to this day is never without a couple of books on his nightstand. He even spent an entire day rooted in the recliner reading till he finished reading his latest book. Daniel has always been my social bug too. It has been a common site having a passel of his friends over playing video games or other games. This was true even the last few days before he moved to Dallas. We even had a participant Skyped in to play. I suppose we could Skype Daniel in for games here too. That’s a thought. It doesn’t seem that long ago Daniel had those cute dimples gracing an angelic baby face. Oh those killer dimples and gorgeous smile are still there but now there is more of the rugged, athletic look going and the occasional scruffy beard. After we helped move him and we returned home, I was really surprised that I didn’t dissolve into mush. Yet seeing the excitement in his eyes and smile melted those weepy emotions away as I accept this new season in his life.
“I don’t like baby boys!” Came Beth’s sassy reply upon waiting for baby sister’s arrival. We were teasing her that Christy was actually going to be a boy. Anyway – thankfully Beth never followed the boy crazy crowd in school. Oh there have been plenty of hopeful wooers but she did her own thing which was totally fine with us. So on the day she and I were visiting about the new school, the new apartment and the new life and such, somehow she casually mentions she is talking to a Chris, adding she’s thinking about dating him. I realized a potential suitor broke through her heart and won, thus ushering in the season of planning and more planning and inexplicable joy. I’ve always enjoyed shopping with my girls and getting coffee or some other little treat. These days – most of the shopping involves wedding items and I have to pinch myself because it is so surreal. But Chris and Beth are so cute together and her dad says that more than I do. Which is a big shock to me too. Where’s the dad who thinks the boy is never good enough for his baby girl? Yet this boy is an answer to prayer. Same morals, values , integrity all those qualities you want for your daughter. So this new season brings us a new family member
Senior iris has invaded the body of my baby girl. You know that snarky stage the kids go through in the quest for independence. Her older siblings did the same and made me cry a few times or engaged me in volley of angry words. We grew out of it so I know there is an end to this current season. Somehow after your college age children move away and struggle on their own a bit, we as parents become valued once again. I am not saying she’s a horrible hard to deal with kid; I am very proud of her new self confidence and independent attitude. It makes me feel like she’ll be okay once she goes off to college. It is just a contrast to the little baby who always was in arms of adults at church or family wanting to hold her. I still can’t remember her learning to walk and here she sits perched at the proverbial edge of nest ready to soar.
The season that will be the hardest for me is the empty house stage. Most parents cut loose and celebrate. To a degree I will but their dad and I love being with our kids – no matter what attitude or stage they are in. It’s going to be strange. Yet I trust God to direct the change of seasons just as He has our whole life. Till then – I will savor the current season I am and soak in every moment before it dissipates like morning dew.