As spring rolls into the canyon, or actually tears through on hurricane-force winds, it brings change, rebirth, joy, a little bit of sadness, and hope.
Anticipation of things that are good.
I am vaccinated. That fact alone brings relief, a sense of expanding my lungs to breathe more freely.
I have seen my mother. She has been so godawful lonely that I have been reduced to tears. I went just to visit; not because we had to move, not because someone was in the hospital, not because someone was dying; it was actually just a vacation and my mom was happy.
So I was happy.
TAM’s 9-year-old came for a week. Just a sweet, pleasant, do fun things, kind of visit. We laughed and snuggled and saw friends and had adventures. We camped in the mountains. We camped amongst the saguaros. We rescued some dumbass teenagers who haven’t yet figured out driving a 4-wheeler. We counted stars and played backgammon and drank cocktails made with fresh grapefruit from the Florida excursion.
He will return for the entire summer. More adventure, more snuggles.
More grapefruit cocktails.
TAM’s other child and her partner are considering a return to the motherland from the tropics of the fiftieth state.
My chickadees are getting ready to fledge; a moment in our lives that delivers excitement and dread in the same package.
Two things that I told my kids throughout their entire upbringing:
- Don’t ever drink and drive. You can ALWAYS call me and I will pick you up. No questions asked.
- If you choose to spend your life in Montezuma County, make it a choice. Go out, see the world, experience new places, new people, new things. Then, if you want to come back, great. But let it be a conscious decision, not a default.
Apparently my first message didn’t sink in.
Which left me wondering if the second one would.
Careful what you ask for, Mama.
One of them leaves this weekend. He’s moving to Idaho. To a place that, until this week, he has never seen. He goes with all of the confidence particular to a 23-year-old man in love. He has a light in his eyes and dreams of changing the world, one river at a time.
Number 2 leaves in a couple of months. He is moving to a city. He’s a kid that should live in a city – at least for a while. He too goes with the support of a great love and a need to stretch his wings that have been clipped for so many years. He dreams of expanding his mind, his possibilities.
Number 3 will be entirely on his own for the first time, without either of his brothers next door keeping an eye on things. For the average 25 year old, this may be normal or past due, but not for this gentle soul. The first in his family of origin to graduate high school, to get a degree, to stay out of prison. He too is venturing into new territory and standing on his own two feet.
We will have a gathering this week, a final evening of togetherness before everyone goes off in their own direction. TAM will be here for that because he is family.
This time, these changes and moves and girlfriends and boyfriends, we are in a transition: a reshaping, rearranging of what the Strazza family looks like.
As a unit, we were so broken. There was so much hardship and pain that we endured, both together and individually. We each had to fumble our way through the muck.
We relied on each other while at the same time needing to separate from each other to find our own unique footing.
We had to need each other in ways that were bigger than the damage. We needed to find love and support and vitality outside of our little cluster.
And then, to truly begin to heal, we needed to bring what we found back to Us.
My family never looked traditional. We are mixed – mixed histories, mixed bloodlines, mixed skin colors, mixed world views. We are connected by tragedy and resiliency. We are living proof that what creates family isn’t necessarily having the same DNA.
What is in our hearts is what connects us.
I love this hodgepodge.
I love that there is an ebb and flow, some coming, some going. I love that I live somwhere that will always feel like home to everyone. A place that can hold all of us and provide a sense of security to those who are scattered far and wide.
I love that my chicks are heading out, exploring the world and themselves. They are persuing dreams and making shit happen. I love that TAM’s kiddos may all be here.
The change is difficult, no doubt. I have been so spoiled to have my children here, within visiting distance. I can stop in and have lunch or drop off boating gear.
To not have them close by will be shocking and painful. I will hate that I can’t just stop by to lecture someone on the importance of Thank You letters.
I don’t know when we will all be together again. It grieves me to no end. But, my babies are doing exactly what I hoped for them to do.
My dream, as their mom, is to see them pursue their dreams.
Which they are doing.
With great aplomb.
I am so proud. So excited. So thrilled.
The transforming spring winds are here and with a full heart I will welcome them.