God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Milestones

Life is made of certain, definitive, universal--well, universal in many cultures-- milestones. Most of us have passed through these and moved on and yet, even then, continue to mark them in new ways from time to time.

Many of my readers know that we raised 4 kids and shooed them out of the nest decades ago. We loved each of them but were not unhappy empty nesters--we had lifes to live and dreams to reach. For me some of these were professional--a chance to realize skills that hadn't been tested and yet were bubbling away inside. And then there was the need to explore cultures and countries that had only been known inside the pages of National Geographic and dreams. There was a need for freedom.

Now we have returned to celebrating milestones that were once ours, then our childrens and now Casey's. Because years seperate us from Casey, there are times when we need to remind ourselves that these are precious years for him and our job is to validate them, not minimize them--knowing, in our adult vantage point, that there are much bigger things to come. For Casey, these days are as big as they get, forming memories that will travel life with him.

So...yesterday was one of these times. Casey was promoted (he takes great pains to tell us NOT graduated--that happens at the end of high school!) from elementary school. Today he is a middle schooler--a 6th grader. He is ready to adopt a new maturity, begin the separation process. He is scared and, I must admit, so am I. He is afraid of independence. I am afraid of losing the boy who hugs in public and holds hands walking down the street.

Tomorrow he takes his first beach trip with the middle school department at church. They leave at 3 and won't be back until 9. It'll be a whole new type of interaction for him--a first step into adolescent relationships and independence. I have encouraged him in this but wonder where it leads and how fast it will take.

My biggest hope is that he takes us with him on this ride--that rather than growing apart new ways of sharing and bonding accompany us into the coming school years and finally into the magic transition called adulthood. In my depths, I do believe that is our future.

9 comments:

Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, wonderful post. You write so well and with such openess. Congratulations to Casey's promotion into the 6th grade. I really admire you and your husband for the way in which you have nurtured Casey and that along with all of his experiences, values and beliefs will be his strong foundation to build upon as he transitions and moves through life. And he's such a great person too.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your family's milestone.

Kendall said...

Jane all this traveling and time spent with Casey will keep you close through the years. Believe me, Casey knows full well how lucky he is to have you (and vise versa).

barb cabot said...

Dearest Jane, You move me to tears. I have no fear that Casey will grow up but never grow away from you and Ken. You are raising an amazing soul! You are so sensitive to Casey's needs...giving him the room for independence, letting him spread his wings so that he can one day fly. I have no doubt that when he does he will always know and return to where his heart is...he will never ever be far away from those who mean the most to him. I love this photo of you both. Look at his smile...You are doing such a wonderful job raising this child.
Bravo! And congrats to Casey on the promotion. How time flys.

nancyhol said...

What a darling photo, Jane!

You really do know how to express your feelings and hopes so beautifully. Thank you for sharing those feelings with us.

Vicky said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Jane said...

Dear Friends, you are to be treasured. Thanks for the warming comments, affirmation and caring.

Chiocciola said...

What a beautiful post, Jane! And the photo is just fantastic. Good luck with the middle school adventure!

Judith in Umbria said...

Maybe Casey can hold onto his Italianness? Italian men even hold hands with other men, and no one thinks they are not many for it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations & good luck to Casey. Those middle school years are ,indeed, filled with so many changes.I can't imagine that Casey will grow apart from you,but he will certainly grow more independent. I certainly appreciate your feelings.Far be it from me to offer advice - I'm still trying to figure out how to relate to my young adult sons :)!
Sheri