Friday, August 17, 2012

The Nature of Family

After two months away from writing or reading blogposts, it feels a little artificial to start right in again with no explanation for my absence. Be it enough to say my grandchildren moved into my house? Probably, but au contraire, it's not within my nature to leave it at that.  If any reader friends are still out there, I'll indulge in one post about our new adventure, then return to nature blogging, with renewed intent to keep personal life out of it, except as it applies to my observations of the natural world.

Though I hadn't intended the June 19th post to be my last, on June 23, our daughter, Sarah, and her two children, Makayla age 8, Nickolas age 4, moved into the basement apartment of our house—a major lifestyle adjustment for all of us. Evenso, I kept expecting each day to be the day I would post again, but with grandchildren at every turn, it didn't work out that way.

When I retired five years ago to tackle a long-imagined mirage of becoming a writer of children's stories, I knew I didn't have a lot of years left for such an ambitious undertaking. I worked hard (am still working hard) on this project, and advised both my daughters not to wait till the end of their income-earning careers to make of their lives what they most longed for. I vowed to encourage their visions to whatever extent I was able, as my mother had mine.

So we were not surprised—and wanted to be supportive—when Sarah, who was then working in a university development office, envisioned graduate school in her chosen field of visual arts—especially after she had undergone two major surgeries to remove a paralyzing tumor on her spine, an ordeal that hurled all of us into a new recognition of the fragile nature of time vs life goals. Sarah's husband, Thad, is equally supportive of her vision. Sparing you all the wheels that had to turn to make it happen,  Sarah and children will be living with us in Atlanta during her stint in graduate school, while Thad continues working in Florida with plans to come to Atlanta once a month until he can find work here.

Initially, of course, the apartment preparations and daily summer childcare consumed my leisure hours heretofore spent "long sitting" outside, which had been my path to blogging, in turn allowing the regular practice I needed for more imaginative writing. But everyone is settled now, the children are in school, and Sarah and I have a firm commitment to each other to spend the precious school hours pursuing our own visions, she in her basement studio, I in my upstairs office, which I call the Aerie for its elevated view of the backyard. (V.Woolf's room of one's own, you know.)

Now I look forward to more structured writing hours and have high hopes for mother and daughter to achieve their longings while there's still time. At ages 33 and 63 we must get on with it. Enough about that. dkm
Mak, Sarah, Nick, Thad, Oct 2011

6 comments:

Jane Robertson said...

So happy to have you back online Deb :-)

Glad to have some personal amongst the observational.

Thank you for posting the photo - Mak, Sarah, Nick and Thad are a beautiful family :-)) I'll be very keen to know how Sarah gets on. How great that she has the support she does.

And yes we all need others to encourage our dreams. One of the best things a friend/family can do :-)))

Niki said...

Your grandkids are gorgeous :)

It's great to have you back. Have missed you heaps :D XX

bibi said...

Beautiful family portrait..beautiful family. What a year of adventure you are going to have! So glad you will be back in your Backyard.

Pukeko G said...

Welcome back Debs. Has been quieter with you out of action here .. as the others have said .. lovely family and good for you helping out :) We understand how life goes on in others lives busy busy and then you look up and time has vanished.

dkm said...

Thank you all for your kind welcomes back---and for not giving up on me!

Sarah Miller Nathaniel said...

Love it Ma!