A Season of Change

Despite the high heat and suffocating humidity that plagues the south every summer, I’ve been taking long walks almost every day. This is not what I’d do normally and exactly why we keep a gym membership year round. Exercise in the height of summertime is for the gym and its lovely air conditioning.

But lately, I’ve needed to walk and think and not be bothered by the noise and clank of a machine.

July is meant to be a calm month for me. I try not to schedule much, minus what’s required for work on the magazine, so I can be home as much as possible to rest, do some lesson planning, and get my mind right for the upcoming academic year.

That’s all going on in the background. I’m doing interviews, scheduling photoshoots, and writing stories, but I am also reading for pleasure, watching television, and sorting out the details of a new class I’m teaching for upper high school grades this year.

But I am also taking a lot of walks recently, because we’re on the verge of major changes in this house, and walking has helped me sort out some feelings about it.

Jeremy joined the Navy and leaves for Boot Camp in less than two weeks.

The unfolding of this plan was at first gradual and then very fast, so fast that if I think about it for too long it doesn’t make any sense because how can we possibly have a child old enough for such a thing?

Yet, it makes perfect sense, and we couldn’t be more excited for him. Truly. Chuck and I have been walking alongside him at every step, and we are thrilled.

Excitement aside, I am still processing. I am walking and thinking and wondering what all of this is going to look like. I have more details to share about his enlistment, but that will be another post for another time. Right now, I am filtering and distilling the moments that led us here, trying to parse out the path we never saw coming.

Each walk involves a few neighbors, thankfully. As our little town grows and bends to the will of the booming population, I am more grateful than ever that we live mostly away from it all.

After my walk this particular morning, I cut a few apples and went back to give Ulysses and Slate a treat, as I’m allowed to do. They know the drill.

But back to Jeremy. He hasn’t been this focused since soccer season ended, which is a sign to us that he is confident in his choice and ready to work towards his goals. We’ve been waiting for that energy, wanting to see something in him that spoke to his future, whatever it was going to be. His academic options weren’t igniting that spark, which didn’t surprise us. Though he was a good student and earned scholarships for college, Jeremy struggled to see himself in a regular classroom. Something about that life didn’t connect.

But the military connects, or so it seems. It is our hope and dream that he thrives in the Navy. We will be the most obnoxious Navy Mom and Dad ever. Just you wait and see.

We know there’s a chance that it won’t work out, but hopefully that won’t be the case. I learned years ago to take this passage in James seriously:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

So, Lord Willing, Jeremy will graduate from Boot Camp this fall and begin a whole new life. I’ll keep you posted.

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