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I think we would get along well,

because she’s a morning bird and I’m not, said the daughter to her mom.

Umm… I think you mean “early bird.”

Oh—right. Well, I wouldn’t know, cuz I’m not one.

Right. You’re not even awake that early, so how WOULD you know?!

Lately these days at home bring laughter—

mid research, writing, music practice,

senior year studies (add in a hefty dose of frustration),

cooking, baking, a little cleaning now and then,

heart-to-heart talks in whatever room we both happen to be in,

and the tranquility of a growing closeness…

plus a little fun mixed into the obligatory tasks of schoolwork and meeting deadlines.

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Economics is boring and difficult! she says,

and I’m sure there’s Algebra in Hell—

it has to be a method of intense torture somewhere!

…struggling in subjects she has no interest in.

Yes. Like many things in life, we push through the boring or difficult parts

to become stronger…

(A brief mom-lecture in a rare teachable moment…

(Keep it short and to the point. She is eighteen, after all, I remind myself.)

Tempted to nap on the sofa, I make a suggestion:

How ‘bout some rosehips tea?

Sipping our liquid energy, the quiet morning lengthens

as we each focus on the work at hand.

Mid-day…

While standing at the kitchen window, she points out a dark-colored bird

with yellow tail feathers, a young woodpecker and two or three robins…

In weeks prior I had stood in the same spot watching our thirsty,

resident flock of wild turkeys drain the bird bath dry…

On wintry mornings water is frozen solid—

a miniature ice rink for God’s fragile feathered creatures.

In springtime when nature thaws, re-awakening to welcome us back outside,

our family cats take an occasional drink.

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In between hiccups, exercising,

attacking a computer virus (desperately hoping to obliterate it),

sending/receiving emails to friends, family, writing contacts,

researching for future articles, and steeping more tea,

the afternoon progresses…..

Exciting? Interesting? Appealing? Engaging? I wondered aloud. I love—

Thesaurus.com! she quips, finishing my sentence.

There are times when we voice the same thoughts at exactly the same moment.

We two love words, and continue discussing adjectives and synonyms.

Do you realize every time you play hang man

a stick figure family is left without a father? she asks—

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not original, but worth another laugh.

In between the seriousness of pressing tasks

this bond is strengthened.

On days like this when my girl is home

(realizing there won’t be too many more days like this),

we fit in lots of heart-to-heart time talking about life, career options,

future plans and womanly seriousness

(with a few doses of silliness)…

some days it is hard to stay focused.

I used to be a disciplined and un-distracted woman—

Until you had me! She finishes.

Yep!

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Family-time, dinnertime, kitchen cleaned, showers taken,

and Algebra II with her dad, the resident mathematician …

then prayers and tight hugs before bed.

In these middle years of my adult life,

I am wholly conscious of this intentional absorbing of hours, days,

spent with my baby almost grown

(it appears she’s aware of it, too),

before the countdown of her fleeting childhood ends,

and wings her away…

reminding myself of the time when mom and daughter didn’t always agree,

rarely shared laughter, ideas, dreams…

when snipped words and sharp silences filled the hours of study at home,

from a myriad of whirling emotions,

and conflicting opinions that kept us at odds.

Yet now we both realize how God’s grace has matured us,

and in the maturing, brought us closer.

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Resting my head on the pillow this night, and most nights,

my heart beats contentedly, fully—

with love, family, relationships,

serenity in this time and place,

peace, gratitude and the unique grace that can only come from the Giver of grace.

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