I was running on the street with Carman and Sudoku a couple of mornings ago. Actually, they weren’t with me but ahead of me. They like to try to beat me – and they do. Anyway, I’m running down the street, watching my 2 older children run along ahead of me, chatting with each other. They seem so mature, so capable.

Then the thought hit me. If something were to happen, and I died right now, they would be okay. They seem to have a deep reserve. They’re smart. They have many skills. More importantly, I think they have the confidence that they can learn what they’ll need to know. Sure, it would be difficult without their mother, but they could make it and be ok.

I don’t feel that way at all about Doodle and Rosebud. They need me in a very real, emotional, and literal way.

But, for Carman and Sudoku, I think I’m more of a guide/reminder/helper/resource for them. I’m helping clear the rough spots, reminding of protocol, manners; helping fill their toolbag with resources and the things they will need to know in the future. But most of these things they could (and would) learn or find out for themselves if they had to.

Lord willing, I’ll be with them for a long time. But it was a happy, gratifying, very peaceful thought that they are well established saplings. How I love to watch them grow. – milkmaid