Monday, March 21, 2016

Dominoes, Jigsaw Puzzles and Tapestries

Photo: lorettaflame via Morguefile
When I found out I was going to be teaching only one class this semester, I panicked. With college tuition payments lurking just around the corner, every income source matters, and going from three classes (an anomaly) to one was a little scary.

Fortunately, the panic was short-lived. If there's one thing I've learned in the last four years, it's that God has a plan, and I'm not nearly as in control as I think I am. I figured if I was only teaching one class, it was because there was something else in my life I needed time for.

As it turned out, that thing was my daughter's final semester of high school. As I prepare to turn the calendar page to April, I have the sudden sense of responsibilities tumbling like dominoes. As we trade in college visits for college decisions, the finality of this part of my daughter's education and all it brings with it is beginning to hit. I refuse to participate in countdowns -- at least so far. They only add to the panic, and make it hard to enjoy the high school days that remain.

And that enjoyment can be pretty challenging anyway. It seems that we no sooner finish one thing than it's past time to embark on another, and avoiding the nag-ignore cycle that was so prevalent earlier in the year is more difficult than I thought it would be. One decision begets another, one event paves the way to the next and before I know it, she'll be accepting her diploma and moving her tassel as I breathlessly try to keep pace.

Until then, I'm enjoying the mundane tasks -- shoe shopping, answering texts, car rides together -- the little pieces that make up the jigsaw puzzle of life. Little pieces that a full course load would render challenging, if not impossible, to enjoy.
Cohdra via Morguefile

I don't want the events of my daughter's last semester of high school to feel like items checked off a list; I want them to be strands of thread woven around the edges of her childhood tapestry. But that takes skill, patience and time. Some days, I'm not sure I have any of these, let alone all of them, but by concentrating on the last one and making deliberate decisions about how I spend my time, I'm more likely to tap into whatever expertise I do possess.

The tapestry is almost finished, and my daughter deserves every bit of beauty I can weave into it.

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