We’re packing up, getting ready to head back to our respective homes this morning. Time to leave the lake house, the weekend vacation, the good food, the story telling, that precious family time behind. There’s a bit of quiet sadness settling around the house. I always think it’s happier when we’re there and lonely when we drive away. After so many years of my folks living here I think the house has absorbed some of their feelings, and they were always sad to see us go.
I’m thinking these things as I stand at the living room window watching the light move across the lake this last morning. I’m feeling tired after a busy weekend, and sad to be leaving. And I’m missing my folks too. I miss them more when I’m here than when I’m submerged in my own life far away. I guess that’s normal.
This weekend was different than many long weekends before. We had two young children here, and the noises are different. The shrieks of laughter and the wail of frustrated tears fill the house in ways not heard before. None of Mom and Dad’s four children had any children of their own. In our own way we have stayed the children of the family. But my brother got married this past spring, and now, incredibly, he is a grandpa!
This was his grandchildren’s first trip to the lake house. The dynamics have changed, the family has expanded and now around the table are young excited faces. They are exploring the places we’ve known and taken for granted for years.
They’ve flung rocks into the lake from the dock and played in the mud.
They’ve climbed the mountain and searched for pine cones.
They’ve eaten our family’s traditional favorites and we’ve eaten theirs.
And as I stand in the window this early morning hearing a baby’s cry I feel sad that Mom and Dad didn’t see this latest expansion. And then two bluebirds flit across the yard, chasing each other up into the trees and back. And Mom’s ducks float by making tiny wakes in the glassy lake.
And I know for certain that Mom and Dad did see this latest expansion. And I know just what they’re saying.
“Welcome to the family everyone. Welcome to the family.”