Here they are,
my oldest daughter
and my youngest son.
She can't get over how great babies are.
As for me, I can't believe how wonderful it is to have an infant
when there are two big girls to help me.
Today they both happen to be gone,
so the baby is crying, I'm missing the Tracy Anderson workout,
the kitchen is messy, and I am a little bit lonely.
(Which is odd for me, since I am never lonely as long as I have a good book to read).
Julia just turned eighteen.
Somehow that is a watershed number.
She'll have two little parties.
Here is the first party, with her high school friends.
Two of these girls are quiet, two are lively.
Can you guess which ones are quiet?
I love them all.
While they were here, I kept trying to give them advice, which probably bored them to pieces.
I don't usually do that, but since I was fresh off my own high-school reunion,
I had plenty of thoughts on the matter.
When Julia was little, she wanted to do all my crafts with me,
including complicated beading.
It got to the point where I tried to make jewelry when she wasn't around,
because she clamored to do everything I did.
Now she has found a craft she loves, leather work,
and the things she makes are far beyond my skill set (you can see her creations on Etsy).
She's going to college next year,
but she'd rather be home, pounding out beautiful leather pieces.
I'm going to miss her terribly.
I keep telling her that college is priceless, that she will love it,
but I sorrow at the thought of our house without Julia in it.
My girl and her friends are at the brink.
From the promise of eighteen,
the wonder of life is an open field in front of them.
I wish them joy.
"Before calling has anything to do with doing, it has everything to do with being, that essence of yourself that God knew before the foundations of the earth, that God called into being and that God alone truly knows. It is the call to be who we are and at the same time to become more than we can yet envision....it encompasses everything that makes us who we are: our genetics, innate orientations and capacities, our personality, heredity and life-shaping experiences, and the time and place into which we were born." (Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership).
(Julia also sells her pieces at Krista Artista Gallery in Anoka, Minnesota).