Sunday, May 22, 2011

23 Years...

Today Henry and I wrap up 23 years of pre-collegiate education with our children.  Not counting, pre-school, we have had a rotation of our five kids in school.  Our youngest, Johanna, is graduating from high school today.  It is sweet to see her launch on her promising future.

What an irony, though, as we have been getting house ready for the celebration of this milestone for our family, I have been contemplating how our thinking has morphed.  I remember the days when we first became parents that every trip "to town" meant hauling all the necessities to the house....diapers, toys, clothes, groceries (oh, the GROCERIES!)  Now I think about how to best get the kids to take their stuff with them, how to de-clutter a lifetime of collecting and make it meaningful to collect enough that the kids can enjoy the memories of their childhood and yet not so much stuff that it overwhelms them.

  Over the years, my own life has morphed as well.  With each transition, the next carried some of the previous responsibilities and much of the wisdom gained.  As I went from a new bride to a mother and an elementary school teacher to my current line of work as a retailer, the titles melded into a great journey.  It has been a path of GREAT INSPIRATION and I sit on the edge of my seat, anxious for what more will unfold before me.

I am honored to get to work in an industry that is creative not only on the facet of the artistic nature but more on the side of how to be an independent retailer in a time in history that it can be a real challenge.  It is even more an honor that I get to live this life alongside those amazing people in my family.  When our youngest, Johanna, was born we often had to endure people's all too-nosy questions about why we would embark on a journey with a "large family".    I am grateful that I have no need or plan to offer any sort of "explanation."  To attempt to do so would be to try to explain why one would (given the opportunity) NOT choose joy.

Our lives as parents to these five children has opened spiritual, emotional and intellectual horizons that we would never have imagined.    Johanna has had to endure being labeled "the baby".... "the spoiled one", etc.  Henry and I love it because neither she nor we even bother to defend or deny the labels.    Johanna was born at a time when my work as a teacher, mentor and business person was morphing from being a home based business to being the retail entity that our store is today.  The child grew up often sitting nearby and playing aside my sewing areas.  Johanna has always amazed me.  A quiet, gentle and wise young woman...I am honored to call her my daughter.  I love you darling....with all my heart....mama  (, NOW this post must end.  I am speechless and prone to weep with  how full my heart is for her.)  I am so grateful to be part of this great and INSPIRING journey.
All the Best to You....jill

1 comment:

patty potter said...

Johanna is truely an amazing young woman. She is so kind and considerate and I'll never forget her spending her 18th birthday on a quilting retreat; don't know many 18 year old girls who would opt to spend their milestone birthday THAT way! I'm sure she will continue to make you proud in everything she does.