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  • Writer's picturePenny Sterling

Fantastic, Sloppy Lives

In the middle of all the outrage and heartbreak that's around us and filling our social media and news feeds it feels somehow wrong to be sharing joy. So maybe it's important that I DO share. Maybe we all need to take a moment or two to express gratitude for the things that are happening in our lives. Especially when they involve our children. It's going to be a long, hard slog going forward. I firmly believe that this administration is employing the "shock and awe" technique used in the second Iraq War in its battle to destroy democracy in America. We need to find the energy to resist--especially this first furious fusillade. Remembering that we owe it to our children to leave them the world in the best possible condition we can might be a good motivation. Okay. Enough of that. <climbs down from soapbox> I'm 20 miles away from the place where I will leave her until May. The place where she will learn about things I could never teach her. The place where she will start being an adult. If this sounds like the same stuff I was dealing with back in August, well it is. Having my kids home for so long was wonderful, and that reminder of how wonderful it was being around them means I'm going to miss them just as much when they leave. How great is that? To love being around people so much that it hurts to leave them? Is there a better definition of joy? I put extra mascara in my purse before I left for this trip because I'm pretty certain that I will be crying several layers of it off on the drive back home. And I will be smiling all the while. I miss them. I'm supposed to miss them. In our society, I need to be apart from them to learn how to be this version of me just as much as they need to learn how to become the adults they are going to be. My kids have the opportunity to have big, fantastic, sloppy lives filled with successes, joys, failures, and victories--lives that are theirs, and theirs alone to live. And I'll have a place in those lives. It just won't be at the front, and sometimes not even NEAR the front. But I intend to fully enjoy watching them live it for as long as I'm on the earth. And if I do it right, I'll still be a part of their lives after that.

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