Sunday, April 21, 2013

Subtle Shift

I have recently been watching a subtle but fascinating shift within our home. My boys are changing--all of them.

 There are many times when I see them playing happily together--as a wonderful group of brothers.

But I've been noticing more and more often that Jonas and Wyatt are pairing off in their own little world together.

They play games, and make messes, and "read" each other stories.  They wrestle (more than I would like), and giggle, and make such a happy little pair.  

 And Owen?  He's off doing his own thing.  Reading, or working on his own little projects, generally growing towards a more independent state.

I've been amazed to watch his personal responsibility grow lately--starting to internalize some of the lessons that we've been trying to teach him (for forever it seems!).  Like, if he wants me to make some sandwich bread, then he can get started grinding the wheat; and if he's ready to have us get started making Jonas' birthday cake, then he can wash out the mixer bowl to help us get ready. 

So Jeremy and I have been discussing these shifts and developments, alongside our current life-situation, and musing that: Maybe It's Time.  Maybe it's time for Owen to venture farther from home, to express that naturally-formed independence, maybe it's time for him to leave home for his schooling.  And maybe his family is ready for that change as well. 

(Jonas' on Owen's first day of Kindergarten)
It's interesting for me to think back to our original motivation for keeping Owen home.  All other considerations aside--we simply felt it was too soon.  Too soon for him to be away from our family full time.  It felt unnatural, and even detrimental to our family unit.  But now, things are changing, it feels more like a natural transition at this point.

We've worked hard these past few years to help really establish a family identity.  To build his relationships with his brothers--to help help him recognize the worth of his family.  The world is out there attempting to tell a different story, but I wanted my son to understand and really experience the relationships within his family--and the importance of them--before he left home.

Because he actually has left home already, and I've already seen how quickly his allegiances shift to friends and his respect for authority switches to teachers.  It wasn't long before I was feeling like I'd lost him forever.  Who knows, perhaps I was being oversensitive with my first child--maybe keeping Owen home a bit longer was simply a personal emotional choice, or maybe it was guided by spiritual inspiration.  I still can't say at this point.  But I am comfortable enough with my choice now to say that I don't think it really matters which was true. We think having him home was good for him, and good for our family.

And now, we think he's ready for a new set of experiences.    

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