Wednesday morning my son left town with my husband, bound for Louisville. Son Jamie is attending the Guitar Foundation of America Convention. He will be playing this morning for a panel of jurors and will find out later today if he will proceed to tomorrow’s final competition. Classical guitarists from all over the world will be there, a virtual who’s who in this genre.
Meanwhile, I’ve written the Parent’s Letter. The PL is a document necessary in daughter Allie’s foreign exchange student application. There were questions I had to answer in the letter, such as: How does your child react to disagreement, discipline, and frustration? I figure it’s good bribing material, for a few weeks at least.
Also, I received a return phone call last night from a gentleman named Bill. He is our Rotary contact for the exchange program. He answered a few questions, assured me we have plenty of time to complete the application [basically, relax lady, you’re fine], and shared with me Allie will most likely not go to Spain, as they only offer three month visas. This means she would have to leave Spain part way through her time, possibly go to Morocco, get her visa renewed, then return to Spain. While I’m excited and comfortable in her participating in the exchange program, I’m not so keen on her having to go through all the necessary rigmarole while living abroad as a sixteen year old. Bill did tell me, somewhat reassuringly, that Spain might have changed their procedures. Time will tell…….
So, today is a prime of example of the different directions my children are heading. Jamie is heading west in the fall. Not too far west, and he’ll actually still be in the same state. But west, nonetheless. Allie, after this coming school year if all goes as planned, will head east. As in over the Atlantic Ocean to a European country, just not likely Spain [ni modo, así es la vida].
Even though they haven’t officially left for good yet, it seems much of our lives now revolve around their future plans. And both their plans involve leaving.
Life has a way to evolve. Our children grow up and we grow older. I’m beginning to realize there will soon come a day when our kids will no longer be visible on a daily basis. And we, as in my husband and I, don’t have a plan. Sure, we’ll keep working and living, and most likely go out to eat more. Yet with each new day, I feel more and more that we should sit down together and map out something…. A list of things we want to accomplish in our older years? A retirement plan? An idea of where we want to live in our empty nest years? I’m a bit afraid of simply letting it happen because I fear we’ll be here when we hit 65, in the same place, doing the same thing, wondering what happened to the past twenty years of our lives. In other words, I feel like similarly to our kids, maybe we should set some goals and share some aspirations.
Our son will be done with college in four years, our daughter in seven. Seven years, though it seems a long way away, will no doubt speed by. I’m hoping when Allie’s college graduation day occurs, she has a plan for moving forward. Likewise, I hope we parents do too! I’m excited to see what different direction we might be headed.