Wednesday, June 15, 2016

when there's ups, there's bound to be downs

Life seemed to be almost idyllic these past few weeks and of course that makes me look over my shoulder nervously, seeing what fresh new hell is sneaking up on me or us....

Nope, none of that. Everything's still fine for us. Kids have had their last day of school and now can enjoy their well earned summer vacation. That however means my vacation's over. I am working full time now for at least the rest of the summer. Excellent moneywise, not so excellent timewise. That'll require some ingenuity in scheduling when it comes to gardening, projects and maintenance.

Anyway....
Last friday was the last day of school for our kids and this year that meant something special. Our son will be attending high school next year, so he left his current school and will be attending a new school in the city. Therefor there was a graduation ceremony and they all dressed up for that. I can now say that my son is the only one in our household who has a suit.
There he was, 15 years old, in a suit, holding his girlfriend and handing me a grade list I could only dream of in my days. He's taller than I am now, which in itself is not that much of an achievement, but still.... He learned 3 new languages in 3 consecutive years, outclasses many of his peers in their native language and is doing very well in other subjects as well.
I was and am one immensely proud dad.
After the graduation he and his girlfriend (feels like our family got bigger in a way), along with the rest of the classes, disappeared off to school for a final lunch together and a trip to Stockholm. My oldest daughter did the same, but went to another city. I'd be working for the rest of the weekend, so I would not be seeing them until monday morning.
As I went home, alone, there was this other feeling that kind of brushed aside that feeling of pride. A feeling of emptiness. After all the business and hubbub of the last days and weeks, there was this void, this silence.... this notion of my kids growing up wayyy to fast, leaving me with a feeling that something was missing. Our youngest daughter is also moving to the next stage of school life and life in general. She left behind third grade and turned 10. That means she officially no longer is a small child. We are officially out of the small children-fase!! I kept asking myself what the hell did I miss? How did they get this tall this fast? Damn it, I just took them to school the first day here in Sweden short of five years ago..... 5 years ago!.... (echo...echo....echo...). Damn...........
Instead of driving home I went to our youngest daughter's school to go and pick her up. I really did not feel like being home alone and why should she stay there, at daycare, longer than necessary? Luckily my wife could also go home earlier, probably because I showed up....

There are also other things occurring that will have a massive impact on our daily life. A solid base, where we could go to for help, a cup of coffee and a chat in out native tongue will cease to exist. It will not be long before we really will be entirely on our own. No more strings attached. No more back up. A not insignificant metal shock that one either.

And then there's always work. In my line of work you can not help but build up a connection to the guys. In essence that is part of the job. Having to see some of them go (against their will) and wishing them well on their way out, is hard. Having to empty and clean their rooms afterwards almost feels as if you are cleaning out the house of someone that died. It has that same emotional load....
It also has an immediate effect on the other guys. Some that are allowed to stay get caught in that double feeling dilemma of relief and guilt. Some, who's case is not yet settled, spend their days in growing uncertainty and unease. It brings us staff and kids closer together and pushes us further apart.

And then there was this small thing, this medical pinprick. There were some small spots discovered on my wife's back... again. The first time it was basocellular carcinoma a.k.a. skin cancer. The least dangerous form, but that word shook our world in a massive way. Much of that shock has been taken away by becoming more knowledgeable, but still......
Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm. Deep sigh of relief...

All at the same time....

It is once more a time of reflection, a time of making up the balance, of rethinking our options and of riding that emotional rollercoaster. In the light of all this, even I feel that being torn between relief and guilt. We are blessed, because we are healthy, have each other and can sustain ourselves in a place we can call our home. Guilt, because we have all that, where many do not.

And then, while we were at IKEA (yeah, I know... I know, but we took our youngest daughter there, because she wanted some time with us for herself too and she wanted to have lunch there) I spotted this sign that made me laugh and that put it all back into perspective again......
And we picked out a new couch we will be saving for..... We really need the extra space!


1 comment:

  1. Oh that was a laugh out loud! Yeah who cares indeed? Better be dark chocolate for me!

    I hear ya on the kids leaving. The only thing that gives me solace is having her within driving distance, that she is happy with a great relationship and job. Remembering Die Wise and Khalil Gibran. What would we do as individuals without the thinkers? I'd be SO depressed.

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