William just dashed through the hall and slid around the corner in stockinged feet. "Hailing!" he said as he grabbed the car keys and ran to move his freshly washed and waxed car into a more protected space. Rob uttered an expletive and went out to help him, still covered in putty and paint after touching up our outside overhead beams, which he finished just before the thunderstorm descended.
Of course the storm burst forth at the worst time, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise pleasant July 4th afternoon. It wasn't predicted, but that isn't stopping quarter-sized hailstones from knocking against the windows. This inconvenient fist-shaking from Mother Nature proves two things that keep smacking me upside the head: nothing goes to plan and everything keeps changing.
I couldn't sit still to write last week, still struggling to contain my sorrow around the end of William's high school swim career and the knowledge that he only has a month left at home before leaving for school. Like a non-swimmer desperately paddling to keep her head above water, I searched for events and trips to look forward to, and reached out to coaching friends who might need an assistant during the next high school girls' season.
Common wisdom says that "when God shuts a door he opens a window," but life doesn't usually work like that for me. First I waste time and energy pounding on the door and re-trying the knob with both hands, then I bang my head in despair before I finally get around to looking for the exit / entrance to my next chapter. I wasted less time this week because my kids are all present, looking to me for stability and guidance, so I can't fall apart yet. I'll have to pencil in my breakdown for the week after Aden and William move into their college digs.
I know that unexpected joys and discoveries lie in wait, just as this surprise thunderstorm centered itself right over our house from out of the blue. But when you have dedicated your life to raising children and they unceremoniously - even gleefully - leave your protection without a backward glance, the heart tends to suffer. The pandemic gave us extra family bonding time, for which I'm grateful, but it made for a terribly short runway to William's takeoff into adulthood.
Even as hail continues to batter the house and Rob belatedly realized that the gutter-cleaning company never came (hence the water pouring off our roof), we know that blue sky awaits just a few minutes away. Even if I have to climb out of a metaphorical chimney or burrow through a basement, I will get past this closed door and find a way to get around the door that has recently, and abruptly, closed.