Midlife is a time for flexibility, I think.
I woke up in my own bed at home this morning and had to re-orient myself, as I did most mornings while in St. Louis waking in the guest room at my son’s house. “I’m still here,” I’d think upon first waking, “we’ll be with the grandchilden today.”
This morning my thoughts turned to the familiar sights and sounds of home, and a running list of the things I wanted to accomplish today: a blog to post, plants to bring in from the dropping temperatures, a sewing project left on our dining room table to be finished, and a writing project to work on.
No more listening in the early hours for a little voice singing the alphabet song through a baby monitor on the kitchen table where I sat sipping my morning tea. No more bowls of cheerios with milk or bagels with “French” cheese, or fruit, lots of fruit, “More fruit, please.” And from the same little voice, optimistic that a voiced agreement will make it so, “Okay, then. Great.”
No more stickers, or crayons. Eggs and toast made of Playdoh. No more puzzles or cars. No more trains. No more books about dogs, “Up the tree. Up the tree,” my computer gathering dust on the dining room table.
No more holding close a tiny little body, a warm soft head nestled in my hand, baby maybe-blue eyes gazing up at the light.
Love surrounded us in St. Louis; it was palpable, in the air with every breath we took, my senses on full alert soaking up every smile, every hug, every word, to be brought home and savored later.
It’s time to pick up again our life’s work, for in midlife even if we change our vocation from a profession to volunteering, from an hourly-job to a hobby, from child-rearing to writing, we still have our life’s work. It is what makes us want to arise in the morning each day.
I have an adult child facing what could be traumatic oral surgery, another trying to get a job, a father who struggles to eat, and a mother who struggles to feed him.
Love surrounds us here. It is not bright, shiny, and always joyous, but it is true, deep, and abiding love.
I have a little dog who wants nothing more than to just be home with us here.
And Mark. Always Mark.
Life is still grand.