Monday, June 08, 2009


Ah, the month of June. When the raging rapids of the school year's end give way to calm pools of summer serenity ... or something like that. We did manage to make it, as a family, through exams and final grading and all those end-of-year extra things like trips to Cedar Point (Jacob) and soccer team parties (Mia) and exasperated math teachers who want that homework NOW (Philip).

But this year we've also been coping with some bigger-than-normal transitions. Jacob has successively graduated from middle school and seems poised gracefully for the start of high school in the fall.

As parents, we've learned that this transition is easier on the parents the second time around. We don't feel quite so instantly aged this time. (But no, that's not us - that's Ron's parents and Jacob, looking sharp in a colorful tie)

Mia has been transitioning into a girl with a driver's license. This transition, we've discovered, is scarier and more awkward than we imagined.

So we'll move on to another transition: moving to a different house. When we moved into our house in 1996, we were a couple with a three-year-old and a baby. Now that we are a family of larger people with more stuff, we all dream of a little more space. So we spent the winter working hard to make our house market-ready--so hard, in fact, that I now have a chronic case of tennis elbow from scrubbing and painting. Our charming, sparkling Alger Heights home officially went on the market in April. And now, we wait, and hope, and more than anything else: clean. Over and over.

Meanwhile, my department is moving this week out of the Fine Arts Center at Calvin, which will be undergoing major reconstruction over the next 16 months. So last week I packed my books into boxes and said goodbye to the little office where I have labored for 12 years. This was a happy moment, I must say, because even in our temporary digs I will have a much nicer space: much more room and a window (finally!). We will be waaaaaay across the Beltline from campus, though. Theme for the year: hiking.

So it feels as if we are living out of boxes for the moment, camping out right in the midst of our regular lives. I struggle to be comfortable with transitions, but I'm trying to think of a time in my life that wasn't full of them. Well, it's been a long time, let's just say that. These are all transitions full of hopeful possibility, though, and for that we are grateful.

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