Lonesome Dove  

Posted by Linda Keilbart Scanlan in , , ,

The first day of school for the last child at home. I know what she is going through because I too was the baby in the family and had to experience the emotions of realizing I no longer had the company of family around me 24/7. My experience, however, lasted only a year, unlike my baby who will have to experience it for five years.

She is in her early teens which means she has discovered she has wings and no longer desires the constant nurturing of her mother. She negotiated for which style of clothes she will be wearing this year and what sport she would or would not play. She is becoming into her own person.

So where does all of this lead too since so many people have been there before me? It is another opportunity for this writer to "start over" and do it right. How many times have we thought "I would have done it differently if only I had the chance?" I have come to realize that the baby has lacked several areas of study because so many were there before her. She grew up with things being known automatically and yet has not experienced some of the simple pleasures in life because we had already "been there done that".

My husband and I are now in our mid-forties and have the means and opportunity to travel and see things we have only dreamed of doing all of our adult lives. The baby now gets to enjoy these things with us. Teaching moments are more quiet and reverent so that the nurturing of the Spirit can whisper the truth of all things to her while she experiences life with us.

Oh yes, let us not forget that during this time of the lonesome dove, that the baby is indeed getting spoiled rotten. This past summer she attended 3 camps: girls camp with our church, band camp courtesy of the school and art camp from her parents. We as parents have discovered that children truly need to be well rounded and that means music in one form or another (she plays the flute), sports (volleyball for her) and of course art (her passion). She is now getting the undivided attention from the parental figureheads and since we do have means and opportunity, she is getting the best of what we can offer.

Art will more than likely be her career, just as it was for her Uncle. We encourage her to seek different aspects of drawing, while encouraging her in her favorite area of Manga. The reward for such encouragement? "Thanks for supporting me in my Manga interest. Other parents at camp were not impressed nor encouraging to their children who had the same interest." Talk about a huge dividend on an investment!!!

Our son was invested in music and we spent years paying for a bassoon, knowing that it would be a ticket for scholarships in the coming years. Likewise we are investing in the baby's love of art. My husband (the bigger spoiler) bought markers for her after she raved about them from art camp. The cost? In the hundreds!?! My daughter's shoulders slumped and tears nearly filled her eyes when she saw the price, but the big spoiler couldn't stand to see the disappointment and classified it as "her bassoon".

This lonesome dove era of life seems to suit me just fine. The winding down to the empty nest is slow and therefore I can discover my wings again too. It is my opportunity to say goodbye to one era of my life and look forward to the next. Aging isn't so bad this way, I don't think. It is peaceful and rewarding.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at Thursday, August 23, 2007 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



What a very eloquent post. Thanks for writing about this today. I enjoyed reading your musings about this new phase of your life.

August 23, 2007 at 1:27 PM

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