The Big Conversation

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Spent a good part of Saturday and much of Sunday cleaning up after my garage sale, which was a fine time for sure, and it felt so good to sit down awhile both evenings and sip some iced lemonade and listen to the radio awhile. I’ve avoided television lately, for about seven reasons, and since it’s summertime and everyone is around, I’d much rather have a conversation or walk with Mr. S, or one of the kids. They’re home now, for the summer, and that pretty much means they sleep here, sometimes eat here, and now and then hang out here.

If anyone tells you once your kids leave, you’re done, don’t believe them. It’s not true. There may be WAYS in which you’re done, or less active, when it comes to laundry and meals and curfews and such, but something new kicks into gear once they leave, and it’s a humdinger of a beautiful thing. It’s the Conversation, the big ol’ ongoing Life Conversation you have with your Adult Children. Meta-conversation and subtext included. It’s different. It just is.

They have wisdom here and there, and they share it, but they don’t know it yet. They begin to support their arguments with evidence, experience, observation. They ask higher-level questions, and don’t roll their eyes when you answer. And they listen. They listen. They sometimes lean forward, and sometimes they even say, “You’re right.” They say, “I’ve been thinking about something.” They post thoughtful things on Facebook about other people in other places, and their sense of purpose rises up and reaches out. When they muse about God, they have their own opinions to offer, and suddenly, your opinion becomes important. And when you’re not feeling well, you hear, “Is there anything I can get for you?” And out of the blue, when the garage sale becomes a challenge, “Is there any way I can help?”

I like this about being a parent. “It worked!” I think to myself. I don’t know what “it” is, but it worked. Something did. Something is evening out, balancing, coming full circle. Could very well be considered a reward: your children grow up; they go away; and when they return, you are engaged forever in an ongoing dialogue with the grownups they have become.

They still seek answers, support, knowledge, information, advice. But now I’m hearing them GIVE it, to their students, their friends, their fellow employees. And to their parents. Full circle. An on to the next.

“Look what I made!” once meant a sandcastle or finger-painting. Now, after two decades, it’s a salad, a recipe from my own daughter, who figured this and that might taste just right, and it did, and does, and goes well with fried chicken or salmon or on its own for a light summer lunch.

My Daughter’s Summer Salad

Fresh Express 50/50 Mix (1½ cup)
Fresh Express Spinach & Arugula Mix (1½ cup)
Sweet Peppers (3-5 mini peppers, trimmed and sliced)
Peach (1 whole, sliced)
Smoked cheddar, or any smoked cheese, cut to your liking Poppy seed dressing (1-2 T)

Place lettuce mixes in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with peppers, peach slices
and smoked cheese. Pour dressing over and serve.


P.S. I tend to add a bit MORE dressing, but moderation is almost always a good thing.


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