J & I just returned from a long week-end with our daughter who lives in Texas. During the past months, memory neurons have been firing in my brain of when my children were young – a long time ago memories since all three are now in their 40’s. I’m a little nostalgic, but not too much because it is so nice having grown children.
This daughter, the middle child, is successfully settling into her career at a university -leading assessment and working on accreditation activities. She had a few career starts that ended painfully and her pain also left us crushed and aching. It almost seems that the pain our adult children feel is more difficult to bear than their pain as little children. When adult children hurt we can’t fix it; their pain is frequently caused by injustices we have no control over. We also can’t control their decisions, even though we would love to protect them from themselves.
Just as we felt her pain, we now experience immense joy when we see her so excited and happy as she is defining herself and her work in this new position. This isn’t what called us to Texas, however. Our purpose was to see the house she bought, her first, and to help her paint. J worked really hard putting Popcorn White on all the ceilings while daughter and I did almost all the walls and woodwork. The rooms popped with freshness. J also helped her put up a new lighting fixture, moved others, and changed most of her electrical outlets and switches. This made her so happy.
I marvel at how competent she is as a homeowner. She had everything spackled, primed, and prepped so all we had to do was open the paint – the five gallon container that we emptied plus two gallons. She had already hired people to do the jobs that were really big and take skill she doesn’t have.
She remembers she is an adult, a woman, as well as our child. She didn’t expect us to do her work, but graciously accepted our efforts as a gift. She was so grateful and joyous as she admired her “new” rooms, as she started hanging her prized art works. She also expressed her gratitude by stocking her frig with foods we like, giving us her bed, taking us out to eat, and going out for ice cream twice (even though she isn’t a big fan of ice cream). We went to Sunday brunch at the Pump House where we each ordered something different to share. J reached for the bill but our woman-daughter insisted on paying and didn’t back down.On Monday we were getting pretty tired and punchy and daughter had a hankering for a good burger and sweet potato fries for lunch. She knew where she was going, whether we went or not, downtown to the Rosebud Grill. The inside has large signs painted on the walls that were covered up at one point and now re-exposed. There is a fountain counter with the fountain equipment. There is lots of charm plus really good food. I can share the charm but we ate all the food.