Sliding the Door Shut

My husband and I can barely draw ourselves away from them each night.  We sit on our front porch watching the sunset while our energetic duo prances, flips, and tumbles all around us.

We have two new kitties.

My 18 year old son has always been the main cat lover, and therefore, is the one who has named the majority of our cats throughout the years.  So he named the little tykes Simon and Garfunkel. And believe it or not, if you google a photo of the real Simon and Garfunkel and then hold the kitty versions of Simon and Garfunkel in your lap, you will realize there are some striking similarities.

Simon and Garfunkel live in “CAT MANOR.”  This is a two-room cat suite my husband built many years ago.  It has floor to floor vinyl covering, a soft towel for a bed, and of course a water and food bowl.  The lid flips open on the top for easy access for us to provide Simon and Garfunkel with fresh water and more food.  Then there is a little door which Simon and Garfunkel use to enter their humble abode; however, the door can be slid shut to prevent access to their place.

Simon is a go-getter.  He will win the personality-plus contest every time.  Garfunkel?  Well, not so much, although in his defense, he is getting more personable.  Shortly after our new kitties arrived, it didn’t take much coaxing to get Simon to come out and play.  Garfunkel was a different story.  And finally, our son stood up, lifted Garfunkel from his home, slid the door shut and said, “Garfunkel, it’s time for you to get out of your shell!”

The fact that this event literally occurred on my son’s 18th birthday, was not lost on me.  

I recently saw a good pastor friend of mine and told him, “It’s shifted again!  I don’t know what I’m doing.  Once again, as a mother, I’m trying to figure out this new phase.”  20 and 18.  

Living independently in a big city.  Planning to graduate from college this coming year, Lord willing. Fiercely independent with her own thoughts and ideas. 

A senior in high school starting to make all sorts of big life plans.  Planning to graduate from high school this coming year, Lord willing.  Manly in every way and changing looks and personality, yet again.  

And while this new season of life is uncharted and once again, causing me to shift, I will be the first to admit, I love it!  I would say my time is now split 75% to 25% getting to be a friend to my oldest child as opposed to being her parent.  And my youngest, how I am amazed at this towering young man who continually makes me laugh, remains under our roof for one more year, is subject to our rules, yet legally an adult.  

And just like our son shut the door for our kitten’s own good, my husband and I find we too, are having to shut some metaphorical doors for our children’s own good.  Oh goodness sakes, our kids will always be welcome in our home; however, we made it abundantly clear, once they graduate from college, they need to make their own way.  Sure, they could live here for a while, if needed, but rent would be a part of the deal.  We’ve told them these things for years but now to literally be shutting some doors, for their own good, feels taxing and liberating all simultaneously.  

Her room is practically bare.  She took all her things with her to her new apartment and that’s OK.  Her room is not a shrine to her.  In fact, I’m beginning to see the potential of an upstairs home office for it at some point.  

He only offers brief monosyllabic answers to me, but can talk on the phone for lengthy periods of time to those much much younger than me. Oh how I will miss his humor but there’s no denying, a significant decrease in laundry in my future is a plus.

Sliding those metaphorical doors shut.  With the big picture in mind, it’s exactly what Garfunkel the kitty needs.  And it’s also what young adults need.   So I pray for God’s wisdom and grace to help all of us in our family . . . even little Garfunkel.  

Until the next Wednesday, the Lord allows.   

Simon and Garfunkel