Yesterday, the Matron moved her eldest into his dorm room. Tears were shed and not just by her. That young man may have experienced a moment of Sniffle himself.
At the University of Minnesota (ahem, BIG scholarship), he is close to home, but oh-so-far-away. Yesterday was clearly a move out. Away. Into the new chapter.
And this one, the girl?
Is now a young woman. Happy birthday, Scarlett!! The Matron's only daughter turned 16 today! The Matron and her husband are parents of few rules and one of them is: no dating until you're 16. That's right. Not a peck, not a walk in the park, not a boyfriend-girlfriend. Merrick asked Scarlett if she "plans to go crazy."
But her mother isn't worried about that. This child has been focused, disciplined and determined since birth. She continues to amaze and blaze onstage (The Cherry Orchard, coming up next) but has also shown up as her older brother's intellectual equal. He was fourth in his graduating class. She is rounding that corner at #7. But 16!
Suddenly, Merrick isn't quite so much the baby anymore. Not after pulling on that uniform and stepping into Middle School this morning. He went in her little guy and emerged a middle-schooler.
She is certain that he will try to break that 'date at 16 rule.'
The Matron feels like the real matronly deal -- the old lady sitting with her cronies in the church basement, watching the young people sing and dance after the wedding -- full of nostalgia, full of hope for the spectacular future in the youth before her, humbled by her own role in the universe. Her life! Tiny! Huge! Tiny by scale but enormous in terms of heart. The scope of history gives us just a firefly blip in its timeline, but each day shaped by love is as rich and dense as eternity.
She is grateful for each and every one of those days she's given.