Sunday morning I sat on the front porch at Cedar Cabin in Wyandot Woods. Everyone but Jackson was still sleeping and Jackson sat beside me in his pirate pajamas playing a video game.
We are definitely in the woods and surrounded by a variety of green leafy trees and just like when I sit on my own back porch in Columbus a cacophany of bird sounds. But here I can see the lake where Jackson and I fished and Jackson and Alyse canoed (standing up - you would have to see it to believe it!) and swam. Sunday morning - a peaceful beginning to an active day with these grandchildren and their mom, Kacey.
This is a much needed vacation for Kacey. She had a tough year as a teacher in Reynoldsburg Schools. The year started hard with a teacher's strike, continued for her with struggles with her principal and ended with her being transferred to a new elementary school next year. And, of course, she is not only a teacher, but the mother of Jackson and Alyse - a role with incredible joy and built in stresses. The most recent stress being Jackson's seizure a couple of weeks. ago.
We got to our cabin on Saturday afternoon. The day before Kacey had a day that brought all of her difficulties together - a morning appointment with Jackson's pediatric neurologist, a meeting at the Board of Education office and multiple friends and colleagues tearfully saying good bye as she packed up her classroom.
This morning I continue to read Broken Open about the "Hero's Journey" or what she calls the "Phoenix Process" - those times when we "reproduce ourselves from the shattered pieces of a difficult time. Our lives. ask us to die and to be reborn every time we confront change - change within ourselves and change in our world." Elizabeth Lesser writes about this process:
"of surrendering to a time of great difficulty, allowing the pain to break us open and then being reborn - stronger, wiser, kinder."
So I sit on the porch as a mother pondering the gift of this beautiful woman that I gave birth to - Kacey. I am watching her live through a time of challenge that I imagine is breaking her open in more ways than I know.
God only knows what a difference this hard year is going to make in re- forming her and the woman she is becoming. But right now I appreciate her wisdom that knows that she needs the refreshment of Wyandot Woods and that the most important part of her life right now is to be recreating with her children (and me!)