My heart is full tonight. Tomorrow my youngest son, at 22 years old, is moving to Portland, Oregon, to look for a job.
It’s also 10 years since we left Germany, and moved to Virginia, and stopped living anywhere near my ex-husband, though the divorce didn’t happen until 4 years after that.
My oldest child went off to college right after we moved to Virginia, and never really came back.
So for ten years, it’s pretty much been Tim and me. Yes, I had lots of practice being without him — his times with his Dad and of course going off to college. But this move is much more permanent.
And I’ve raised a very fine young man.
He’s smart. He’s kind. He’s self-aware and emotionally intelligent. He’s an independent thinker who has a lot of empathy. He’s a creative thinker. He’s an introvert — which makes him a great person for another introvert to live with.
So I’m going to miss him — hugely.
But how tremendously blessed I have been these past ten years to have someone I love living with me. What a privilege it’s been to watch him grow up!
Sigh. It’s going to be great to watch him fly!
I know I’ve mentioned this one before. But the morning after tomorrow, my youngest moves away. So tonight playing a game of Dominion with Tim was extra-special.
I do love playing games with my kids! I’ve gotten to do a whole lot of that in my life — and one more time tonight.
I am blessed.
I’m going to California tonight! My niece is getting married on Friday. I’ll get to spend time with many of my 13 siblings and see several nieces and nephews and spend time with my dear friend Ruth.
This feels like a bonus trip, since I went to see family in Oregon in May — because I was interviewing for a job out there. Normally, I wouldn’t have spent the money for two trips, but that was a good excuse.
I have an overwhelmingly large family. There are some good things about living on the other side of the country where the only Hatch most people know is me.
But it is also a huge treat to get to spend time with them. This is going to be a lovely trip.
Last night I got to hear my Dad speak and see him receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chappell Natural Philosophy Society!
It worked out great — they were supposed to start dinner at 6:00, which was when I got off work, about an hour away. It turned out they started dinner at more like 7:30 — so I was right on time. I got to have some food and hear my Dad speak.
This is a group for “dissident scientists.” They encourage critical thinking and no hero worship. My Dad by no means agrees with all of them, but they listen to him, and some do good work.
In his talk, he presented why his own theory is a much better fit with GPS data than Einstein’s Special and General Relativity Theory.
He is currently calling his theory TESLA — The Elastic Solid Lorentzian Aether. It’s catchier, and I can finally remember it!
His theory explains the data better (and my Dad knows GPS data) and resolves paradoxes. In this theory, alas for fiction writers, time travel is not even theoretically possible.
I had run out of pictures — and this weekend, my Dad scanned in pictures for me of when I was 4 to 6 years old.
And they are so much fun to look at! So many things I’d forgotten came flooding back — down to details of clothes I wore and toys I loved to play with. Many of the memories I had no idea went back that far — because when you’re 4 years old you don’t think about the date a lot. But my Mom carefully noted the month on each picture, so now I know, for example, that we found our cat Zenie when I was 3 years old.
And I’d forgotten all about that toy camera I found so very fascinating! I was ready to take an abundance of pictures even then.
Lately, I’ve been busy, and my son and I haven’t played too many games together.
Then, on Easter, we taught my friend’s family how to play Dominion.
And today Dominion Adventures arrived!
It’s an expansion set (We have all 9 other sets.), and Tim ordered it for me as an early birthday present. He’s hoping to get a job before my birthday and move out, and wants to have plenty of time to play it with me.
And it’s awesome!
And it was tremendously fun to set my to-do list aside and play a couple games with my son.
I love Easter. And I do believe that Jesus’ resurrection means we should listen to His words.
After a lovely Easter service at church, my son and I went to my friend’s house.
I have known this friend, Darlene, since 3rd grade. And when I moved to Virginia almost 10 years ago now, I and my two kids, then 12 and 18, lived in Darlene’s basement for six weeks. Darlene’s kids were 2 and 4.
Darlene has invited us over many times in the years that followed. Today my youngest son, who is now 21 and a college graduate, and I went over for Easter dinner. Darlene’s kids are almost-12 and just-turned-14. Her oldest is considerably taller than me now.
And having dinner with them felt like being with family. Darlene’s husband Matt talked with my son about the challenges of finding a job. I think it was helpful for my son, but was done in a friendly way and not at all a patronizing way.
And we did lots of eating and lots of talking and taught one of our favorite games to them and just had a lovely time.
There’s something extra special about knowing people — the whole family — over time.
My “real” family is on the west coast. But I still have family here.
And that’s a blessing.
A quiet Christmas today. We stayed home — my youngest son and me.
And it’s probably the last Christmas when he’ll live here.
And we played a game all afternoon — It happened to be a game I’d given him a couple years ago at Christmas and we hadn’t opened until now. And we had a lot of fun playing it. (He won.)
And we had a nice meal together, which I prepared yesterday.
And we opened gifts.
And we played Christmas music.
And we both did some reading.
And I was together with someone I love dearly.
My youngest son just finished college, so I’ve been having some Empty Nest Blues.
This is on top of being divorced, so it hits a little hard that my nest is well and truly empty.
However — Even if I were still married — kids grow up. This is a good thing!
I am incredibly proud of both my kids.
Yes, I look back fondly on those wonderful times when they were toddlers and young kids, soaking up learning. We got to be a young family living in Europe. We got to visit castles, go hiking regularly on our “mountain,” play games together, see sights of Europe. Although my marriage ended badly, I have experienced being loved by a spouse deeply and truly. (For awhile, anyway!)
We weren’t perfect young parents, and every moment was definitely not idyllic. But we had some tremendously happy times together — and I think my kids are among the most wonderful people God has ever created. I’m so glad their youth was entrusted into my care.
So yes, even if I were still happily married, this day would still have come. My kids are launching out into the world, and I’m so proud of them!
And I miss them — and I’m glad I do. And I’m thankful for precious memories, which I will always cherish.