I was about to begin writing this post when I realized that this is my 900th post! It’s amazing how things add up with time – those of you who have been reading all along probably know me better than I know myself by now.
I didn’t plan to write anything spectacular in honor of this, but it’s probably appropriate that I share my thoughts on this transitional time in our lives, since these transitions are quite significant for our family.
Late last night (Tues) dh and ds17 returned from the trip to NY for ds’s yeshiva interview. They both had a very positive impression about the yeshiva, and because of a comment that one interviewer made to ds (“When you come to me for Shabbos, I have lots to ask you about homeschooling!”), we knew he was accepted even though they don’t notify you on the spot. Dh received the official call today. He’ll be going to Shor Yoshuv in NY, a yeshiva I feel is a fantastic choice on a number of levels – it met all of our technical criteria, and has a warm and supportive atmosphere where the focus is on the individual.
The term begins on Aug. 25, which means ds will be leaving to NY on Tues. Aug. 24. When I realized it meant we have less than two weeks with him, and less than three weeks with ds15 before she leaves to Israel for ten months (she’s leaving Tues. Aug. 31), the realization struck me very hard that time is flying by and this short time will be gone before I blink! I’ve intellectually been aware of this – particularly when this past Shabbos, I realized that we have only one more Shabbos with all of the kids home (for at least another ten months). I had to consciously create the space for even that last Shabbos together, since ds11 and dd14 were away last week, dd14 will be at camp this coming weekend, and the following week dd15 had planned to travel to NY for the weekend. I asked her to cancel her plans even though it might mean she won’t be able to see a very close friend before she leaves to Israel. Family takes priority.
I’ve been so busy with the technicalities of all that needs to be taken care of – obviously there are a number of things the oldest two kids who are going away need (which has been significant in terms of time, energy, and money! – and tonight the oldest two converged on me, each with lists of more things they need to take care of), as well as the day to day summer activities, and planning the coming school year (which is taking more thought than usual since I’ve been considering if dd14 should graduate at 16, which influences the choices I make now). And all of this busyness means that I haven’t had time to feel anything about them going – until last night.
As parents, we want to give our kids the ability to be independent and follow what is important to them, to grow into mature and emotionally healthy adults. I’ve been looking back on our home education journey and thinking about what has been successful as well as where I’d like to adapt for the future, but overall my feeling is immense and intense gratitude that they’ve grown up so beautifully. I’m so happy for both of them and grateful that they have found opportunities to grow and experience things that are important to them. And as each older sibling moves out, I think it’s wonderful how the next child in the family has his/her chance to have the spotlight; I’m looking forward to focusing more on the younger kids in the coming year, with a particular focus on dd14 and ds11.
But having said all of that, last night when ds asked me what the starting date for the yeshiva was and I answered him, I was suddenly hit with a strong wave of already missing them even though they’re still here. Just having dd14 out of the house for two weeks at camp has been an adjustment for everyone (even though she comes home every night around 10:30 pm) – so I expect the oldest two leaving for a long time will be quite significant for us all. Fortunately, ds will probably come home every six weeks or so for Shabbos – that definitely makes it much easier!
Life is full of so many good things, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy!