by Andrea Elizabeth

With my youngest turning 10, my nest is even more pointed towards being empty. Slowly she has shifted from keeping her clothes and shoes in my room to her own room. Just last week she stopped brushing her teeth in my bathroom. I used to get so frustrated with the toothpaste gobs left in my sink and her clothes stacked on the counter. Now I’m thinking my bathroom is too clean and empty. I’ve heard that couples who return to being alone, a phase George and I skipped, believe that the time their children were with them went too quickly and that you should appreciate every moment.

So should I have been happy at the toothpaste blobs that I repeatedly and fruitlessly reminded her to take care of? I don’t think so. We can’t wish for children to keep disregarding their environment just to have reminders of their presence. That seems morbid and selfish. It is healthy for them to remove themselves more and more from us as they did at birth. No matter what happens, we will always have their names. We can summon them by their names in memory and in prayer at any time. A name doesn’t limit them to an adjective like forgetful or 10 or any other of their fleeting ways. It is them in their essence.

On a different subject, I’ve wondered about praying for people who don’t feel close to us. Can it be unwelcome to them? Is our essence attached to God’s grace when we do so? Can God’s grace be separated from our own energy on their behalf if it is better that way? How far does synergy go in that regard.