Monday, July 30, 2007

July Classic Family Sunday!

My Uncle Mick arrived in town for another week yesterday. All of those who were in town gathered for our Classic Family Sunday and we enjoyed the day. Time together, too much food, laughter and liquid refreshment flowed to make the day one that reminds you how wonderful it is to have close family so near, and those who aren't up for a visit. While I remember traveling to St. Louis several times a year when I was young in order to visit relatives, our children will remember and tell stories about these days long after my Mom and I give up the Family Hostess titles to those who follow after us.

As I sat and listened to Mick and Dad telling stories from their youth to the boys my mind wandered. While I couldn't help but pray that the boys found none of their more interesting stories inspiring (yeah, I dream big!), I also couldn't help but notice how different the day felt. Don't misunderstand, the day was wonderful! But it was different. Something was just not like normal. Was it the fact that Uncle Mick was here? I didn't think so. After all, he'd been here for a week already this year and everything felt 'normal' then. Was it that we didn't have our normal schedule of sorts? No, I think it didn't matter when we finally all sat down to eat. We snack so much before the meal that we are usually full anyway. And then it hit me. The girls were gone. Kenz and Kayla were both missing. The dynamic was changing.

Mackenzie and Mikayla are growing up. And sadly, for a time, their lives are taking them away from us more and more. Both had spent time away from Ohio over the weekend and couldn't make it. I expected a change when Kenz headed for Moody Bible Institute at the end of August but I figured Kayla would still be around. However, I have to realize that Kayla is growing up, too. She has a very steady boyfriend who joins us often. But as they get older, things will take them away from us and on to their own activities now and then. And with Kenz going to college, she'll be around only for the biggies for awhile. And we had our first taste of that. While I knew that it was inevitable, and indeed a good thing, for our children to grow up and develop their own lives, I wasn't sure I was totally excited about it. After all, I have a bit longer to wait until that really hits home for me since the boys are still so much younger.

I know that there will be many times ahead where changes in our family evolve and effect our family gatherings, and I know this is a good thing. But I can't help but remember the wonderful times we've had in the past when the kids were all smaller and more tied to family activities just because. However, I am choosing to embrace the coming changes with the joy of knowing that lives are growing, becoming more than they were, and moving on as the Lord has planned for them long ago. And as I watch us all grow and change right along with the family flow I can't help but wonder what the next big change will be. Let us hope that whatever it is, Classic Family Sundays will still be here for us all to gather and enjoy when we can.

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