I know, I know, I know. I know I just posted a whole series of posts about hanging out with my kids. But sometimes you have a day like today, and you just have to get it down on paper. Or gigabytes. Or whatever.
I talked to all 4 children today. That’s not completely unusual, since I chat with each of them several days a week, and sometimes it all falls on the same day. What I want to post about is the content of those 4 little chats.
Ben is in Loveland, Colorado, where he lives with his girlfriend, Kirsten, and their 2 lovely dogs River and Suzie.
Ben is a senior at CU Boulder, a political science major. He’s a 4.0 student (which eats away at his 3.5 gpa mother), and is beginning his search for law school. He is an adventure junkie: skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, bouldering, ice-climbing.
Here’s his Facebook status for today:
Switching to an entirely local and organic diet this month as a project for school. I’m so excited to be not eating corporately produced food. The current food system we have in this country is not safe or secure. It is contributing to anthropogenic climate change and the unnecessary suffering of millions of animals. We support this terrible system with every dollar that we spend for every single meal, three times a day. I challenge everyone to have at least ONE MEAL in which everything you eat is local, sustainable, and raised without pesticides, antibiotics, or petroleum based fertilizers. If you are serious about being thankful for your food, you should really think about the global implications of what it is you are eating. Cheers to a healthy diet and a healthier planet!
So our phone conversation today was all about this 30-day experiment. It’s for his environmental law class, and the students have to lessen their carbon impact. Ben and Kirsten have a little garden, they recycle, ride their bikes around town and school, and are very conscious of their activity. The professor wanted them to develop a new action, not one they are currently engaged in, so this is what Ben came up with. He first suggested a blog to publicize and explain what he does on a daily basis, but then came up with this idea, and I just love it.
Sam is in Salida, Colorado, where he is a River Ranger on the Arkansas River.
When we chatted today, it was about his schedule and the possibility of his getting the time off to go to Ragbrai, the family bike trip to Iowa. When I asked how he was liking his job, he uses the answer he’s used every time I’ve asked him that this summer: “Livin the dream, mom. Livin the dream.” He works on the river most every day, and on his day off…he goes to the river.
Sam told me about the river clean-up he worked on, the quirkiness of his little town, the upcoming river festival on the Arkansas, and how much fun we all had when the fam gathered in Salida last week.
Glenda is in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she is finishing the last studio hours to graduate with her BFA from the University of Tennessee. She’s loved the work she’s done there, but she’s definitely ready to move on.
She has plans to move to Vegas in August and hit the nightclub circuit with her hula-hooping performances. Visit her Youtube channel for a video performance – she performs under the stage name Calliope. We’re making our annual trip to TAM in Las Vegas in July to go apartment hunting. She’s scared and excited and nervous and happy. (Her words).
Amy, tonight, is at Mt. Rainier National Park, on her trip cross-country to Orcas Island, Washington for her summer job as a sea kayak instructor.
Amy graduated from ETSU with a degree in Outdoor Recreation in December, and starts her new job this week. I got to travel with her from Murfreesboro to Salt Lake City last week. We had a great time, and did a lot of sightseeing, but she was content and excited to do the second half of her trip alone. She enjoys her solitude and is comfortable in her own skin. She’s not sure of what lies ahead, and that’s ok with her.
Today’s chat was about everything she had seen in the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. She was remembering trips with the grandparents as a child, and enjoying every view and campground and buffalo and elk baby she had seen. She is car-camping, and hosteling, and just wanted to tell me what a good time she was having.
That’s my family. I am so proud of those children, I can’t find the words to express it. And the fact that they are so happy and so healthy, and are living the lives they love in the manner they choose…a mother cannot ask for more.
As for me, I live in my little cottage on my little farm, with my dogs, and my cows, and my chickens, and my donkeys. I have wonderful friends, I love my law school, and I have a very special person in my life, who lights me up. More about him in the posts to come.
In a little bit of a morbid twist, I’ve been working on my will, and my letters to my loved ones in the event of my death. This blog in general, and this post in particular, will be part of the package that I’ll leave for my kids, to remind them all of this day, this time, and what their happiness means to me.
Thanks for reading.