My eldest son is looking for a new, bigger apartment in NYC, for his last year of college, and learning about the ways of the world the hard way.
Just a few more months left before my middle child, eighteen now, heads off to South America for a year to become immersed in another culture and learn another language before heading off to college.
My daughter is so big she can make forty cupcakes for the Salvation Army dinner, all by herself, and only needs to occasionally call out such things to me over on the couch as, “What’s cream of tartar?”. It’s a picture of happiness for me to look in there and see her in the apron we made together, pondering how to use a candy thermometer.
All three seem secure to me. When I think about trying to provide security for my children, that is with a home that is a good safe place to feel sure about, where we protect them always and in times of crisis, and where they can feel they belong and fit in, I know it has happened for all three. They are big now, but the job of providing security has happened every day since the first was born. Every day since he came to us we have tried to build a life that feels safe and sure even as the world sways around us. It has been made of ideas such as dinner together, a predictable bedtime with stories and hugs, laughter and playing, rules and limits, a place to take all feelings, an overall predictable life even amidst the unpredictable such as the flood of our house, worries about jobs, illness, death.
When I see kids in the high school struggling to be present in their opportunity to get an education I am reminded that the need for security is far reaching. My kids have not had to wrestle with difficulties at home because we have been able to create a life that precludes that. It is among our goals for ourselves as a family to be secure, to cling to one another and believe in one another, even when it is difficult, not ever giving up.