Apple Picking … and Reflecting On This Season of Parenting


This Labor Day found us in Oak Glen 
apple picking 
as per our usual family tradition.


I have written here and here about our tradition
and
 it always has me in a sentimental mood afterwards.

Sometimes it's a really beautiful thing
having a blog that is part online journal
as I have been able to capture so many 
transitioning seasons of our family
in words and visuals.

For in truth
all of life is a transition
from one stage to another
just some stages seem to have more definable jumps.


I love being able to go back and read through the years
of something as simple as apple picking with our family.
This yearly activity 
has captured  many of  our family seasons
and has me reflecting on this years family season.


I must say
I must not have read the parenting book all the through
because when i was younger I thought parenting ended for the most part
when children turned 18
and
now I realize parenting just changes shape
but is still a constant in life.


I realize in trying to move on to my next chapter
sometimes I move too far ahead in celebrating the empty nest idea.

Because this summer mine isn't empty.

My darling daughter is home searching for her
grown up after college career  job
and
my youngest is working his way through 
Junior College before he transfers to the four year college.


So there is a lot of trying to figure out how this
new family season
can best play out for all involved.


I must admit my youngest of three
has a very different life than
his over protected siblings.
Most likely why he has been able to 
live at home for college beginnings.


By the third time around
I realize hands on parenting at this age
is a done deal
with no need.


Hunter is a most respectful young man and a joy to be around.


I am also ever so proud of what a hard worker he has become.


Besides college full time
he is working at UPS part time …
on a shift that starts at 3:30 … AM.


And he is still able to carve out time for successful relationships.


I see my parenting role with Hunter
as one to offer support.

I still do try to arrange my schedule 
as to be home to make meals for him
between his coming and goings of work and school.

As much to provide a strong base to venture successfully out from
as well as I really enjoy talking and spending time with him.
I am ever so proud of the man he is becoming.


My darling daughter
after deciding she wasn't sure about grad school
after all
is in the throes of career job searching
and
 it has been 
fraught with many ups and downs
and almost theres …


This summer has been trying on both 
Ellis and I.

She was not looking forward to moving home 
after four years of being on her own
and
I had finally become happy with 
our family of three
 routines.

Ellis and I had many talks about 
her moving home 
before she did
trying to talk in advance 
to avoid the many mine fields
that could come about 
from two adult women sharing one roof.


I must say for the most part we have done 
really well
with respect and kindness
and have had some great times together.


But I know we both are anxious for the next chapter to begin.

Maybe too anxious
at least on my part.


I have felt myself becoming more and more tense
with the situation
resulting in bouts of irritability
that surpass the situations.

I emotionally moved out of
lets make the very best of the situation
into
when will this end!

But I realize now
not for why it might seem.
For Ellis truly is one of the easiest of people to get along with.

I know now I wanted it to be over
to protect my heart.

I have always been one if something is going to hurt
I just want to jump in and get it done
not have it hanging over my head.

But parenting 
doesn't work that way … does it.


I realize I must straddle 
the having her home here now 
and
  savoring it wholeheartedly 
with 
the impending heartache of when she leaves.

Because this time when Ellis leaves
she won't be coming home for 
school breaks or summers any more.



Ellis will be setting up her own home and life.



It will be yet another transition
and
season for our family
as she moves towards having one of her own.


So I realize
I must not hang back in fear disguised as irritability
but I must 
step back all the way in
with my head up
and
my heart strong



to savor and enjoy
this season
that is our family.




As always my friends


I wish you love and joy
as you style your life





linking up with
Visible Monday




27 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing and for the words of wisdom. Often there are parts of your poems/blogs that stick with me and I want to write all over my walls. Today's is: "For in truth all of life is a transition from one stage to another, just some stages seem to have more definable jumps." :)

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    1. Ana … you honor me with your kind words. Thank you dear!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  2. The entire time I was reading this, I was mentally saying "I know" and "me, too." When my second son returned home after college graduation, I wanted to make the best of it, and we, too, had gotten used to being a family of 3 (our oldest had married by then). I know it wasn't what our returning son had hoped for, either. And, like your son, my youngest was attending college at an in-town school so he still lived at home. He was a commuter for his entire college career, even staying to complete his master's degree. I, too, still arranged my schedule around meals, etc. for him. Meanwhile, everyone assumed my husband and I were empty nesters! Within a year of returning home, our second son found a good job and was able to move out and we are able to continue a good adult relationship with him. I laughed when you wrote that you thought parenting was over at 18, because I did, too! I think because for our parents, IT WAS!, at least to the degree that it had been. We are the first generation with the returning-after-college kids, and there was no model for us to follow. I kept telling myself that to give myself a break. That, and, this too, shall pass. And it does! And it is bittersweet, but the way life is meant to be.

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    1. Thank you my dear … for sharing you story. I am happy to hear it all worked out well for you! Kudos to your youngest and his obtaining a master's degree!

      Congratulations to you for the very successful raising of your three!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  3. I love this post...how I would love to go apple picking! Looks like a wonderful tradition for the family. I have 22,26,28 year old children...two married. I think it is really a difficult time of parenting, because there are so many boundaries I must be aware of and careful not to cross. I love them as adults, but must allow them to be adults. It is a fine line at times and a learning process for both my husband and me.

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    1. Pam your … "I love them as adults, but I must allow them to be adults" … wise advice that I shall remember! Thank you dear!

      There is a lot involved in learning to navigate this phase of being a parent!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  4. Wow. Beautiful photos, yet your forthrightness is what is admirable. The sense of abandonment when Ellis went to College, is the sting you feel as you indicate irritability at the impending future departure anticipated. The interesting thing is.. the second time is never as painful as the first. When the heart heals, it does so with thicker skin. There is no fear of the same pain reoccurring necessary. It will not be as painful. In all, it is simple re-triggering early loss of one held dear, which is at the core.. what needs to be healed. It has nothing at all really, to do with Ellis, but the loss of the dearest young lady in your early years. So please, enjoy your daughter, for when she walks out the door, she may breathe a sigh of relief only she only she can hear.. the reverberations of which will echo in resonating circles bigger and bigger throughout years. And of course as has always been, Hunter and Ellis both .. are such amazing young people you've had the privilege to rear! Well done, and parenting is never done. It just changes, as you say. -Denise

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    1. Thank you my dear … for the most encouraging words! You are quite right … when the heart heals … it is with a thicker skin. I can see how the 'fear' of the reoccurring pain … can itself incite pain … more so than the actual event.

      Yes, you are right also … that much of the pain … is a trigger from the death of my sister … that has healed as much as a death of a family member actually can.

      Denise thank you for taking the time to leave your wise words my dear. You know me well …it has been twenty years now :))

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  5. Oh I loved this post Tamera !!

    The photos were all so beautiful and it was interesting to read from a "child's" viewpoint. I know there is nothing more encouraging than a parent's support.

    All these photos of apples are now seriously reminding me though that autumn for us is definitely just around the corner ....

    Love India x

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    1. My dear India … so very delighted with your visit from my beloved Scotland! I appreciate your comment … you and your mother have such a beautiful bond. I can easily see how much you are deeply loved and adored by your parents as well!

      Yes, Autumn seems to be around the corner … even here in SoCal … where we still have another month of heat. I will be celebrating it's true arrival here with much excitement!

      Thank you again for your visit my dear!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  6. I feel like I was just walking along side you listening and nodding my head in understanding. I am in a similar season and have experienced similar emotions and thoughts. Motherhood is forever. I remain home providing sanctuary for them to return to and rest and just be. My two oldest are on their own while the two youngest remain home while attending community college and working. They are very independent and cook a lot of there own meals, do their laundry etc but they still like that I am here mostly to listen. Do you find yourself listening a lot? I do. Well dear it was a joy to walk beside you in this post. AND I am so happy to see you on Instagram. xxo

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    1. Yes … you are so right my dear … by now it all about the listening … which is exactly why i do make meals for my son … it gives me a chance to hear about his day … and his world! Your children are very blessed to have such a wise and loving momma!

      So happy to have found your gorgeous and calming feed on IG!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  7. You are so lovely. I love your outfit and you look so relaxed, at ease, calm.

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    1. Thank you darling! On my way to pay you a visit!

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    2. I have retuned from a calming visit to your blog … since your comments are disabled … for blissful visits … I will have to write here … just how much I love your blog … and your shop my dear!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  8. Going through the same situation/emotions. You speak so eloquently about them for the many of us out there trying to figure life out Tamera, thanks again!

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    1. Thank you for your gift of understanding words!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  9. My mother once told me many years ago, that once a parent, always a parent. At the time I had no idea what this meant, I certainly do now. I feel our children are only on loan to us, to raise and nurture and make ready for the big, wide world, when that time comes. In my case my relationship with my adult sons is still strong but on another level as they have live in other cities .Each change in our parenting lives causes reflection as you are doing now, a new tomorrow is dawning my dear.

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    1. Yes, indeed your mother is so right! And yes … it does feel as our children are on loan to us … as we prepare them to make their own lives! What cities are your sons living … are they still in Tasmania?

      I enjoyed your spring outfits my dear! Enjoy your new spring … as I am as excited with our approaching fall!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  10. Tamera this all rings so true for me. I try to remember my own Mother's actions and how many times she probably wanted to say something and held back, letting us make our own choices. Wow was that difficult with my own children.! Thank you for your amazing friendship!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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    1. Karena thank you for your visit my dear! Yes … not offering up unsolicited advice can certainly be a challenge :))

      Hope you are recovering well from surgery!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  11. What am absolutely lovely post Tamara! Thank you for sharing, you and your family look beautiful :) hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you so for your visit and your kind words my dear!

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    1. Thank you Jana! Hope all is well in your world now that the wedding is behind you! Looking forward to catching up with you dear friend!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  13. Okay...now I have shed tears. What a lovelyl post of real life, relationships with children who are now young adults, and all the emotions attached to each new phase we maneuver through. Your words and photos expressing this time and these feelings is beautiful. I only had one daughter and my transition period came many years ago...but this brings back memories....

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  14. Tori and I have read this post countless times, your heartfelt thoughts which you so poetically put into words as touched us dearly. It is a wonderful journal. Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you finally come to grips with a daughter moving on with her life? I can attest that, although it is painfully difficult having my girl living so far away, the growth and happiness I see in her makes this mommas heart swell. I'm sure you will see this in Ellis also. And, wow, to Hunter, what an incredible hardworking, self sufficient young man he has become. You should feel, as I'm sure you do, so very blessed.

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