Wasn't it only yesterday that I was helping the kids make egg carton tulips? I remember helping them parade into my wife's bedroom, the elders holding a cup of tea, another a tray with breakfast, the youngest with a platter of gifts and the home made flowers. Now they are so much more grown up. Gifts were gift cards and things they purchased on their own--though two of them still made hand made cards.
It wasn't that her celebration was any less heart felt or meaningful. But it was suddenly so different. They can help cook, and in some cases totally cook on their own. We are still needed but in different ways. Most of the chicks are in various stages of fledging.
We see this too in the way long time family traditions have been changed or tweaked a little in recent years. For instance, the Kentucky Derby is huge for me and I have always celebrated it We made hats for years and we always have a special Derby cake and eat in the living room watching the race. We each choose our horse to root for and then cheer and yell like crazy people all through the race. My mom watches up in Maine and always calls us afterwards to see who we rooted for and share thoughts on the race and that years field of 3 year olds.
One year Rob's friend was at our house during the Derby and he got in the action, making a hat, choosing a horse etc. This year I saw him at church and he said he thought of us yesterday, and still remembered how much fun that was and that he wished he was with us.
This year though, Rob had to work during the Derby. The restaurant though was having a Derby event (odd for our New England community) and he got a glimpse of the line up of horses while he worked. Just before the race went off, he texted me his pick! I texted him ours and at least through the magic of smart phones we were still connected at a moment that is special to us.
I can see more changes up ahead for us. Rob likely graduates next year and at that point he hopes to sign on to work for a cruise ship. KC is entering Coming of Age and stands at the threshold of the teen years. Lissa is only 9 but is a 9 going on 19. (smile) Seriously older than her years, they are all increasingly independent and ready and eager to challenge the world.
I am glad for that. It is what we want for our kids, for them to charge out into the world with enthusiasm for change and the skills to make a difference. But it is poignent too as some Mothers Day will be a card in the mail, or maybe a text or a call. Some Derby day in the not so very far off future will be me sitting there watching, enjoying and remembering these days. And I'll be missing egg carton tulips.