Another school year has grabbed me by the wrists, yanking me from one hour to the next, from one to-do list to the next. Yet the days are not as jarring as they once were, now that there are just 2 young men to educate. It should be so much easier and in some small ways it is. But with John and Nora both living outside of the Laberee home, I have discovered a strange foe - an itinerant spirit. My own heart has become part nomad, wandering through the house, through their rooms, and through the well-trodden alleys of my own mind searching for them and needing to engage them on some pressing matter, both out of habit and for the love of it all. For the love of them.
An update on the fearless foursome:
John is starting his sophomore year at UPenn and rowing varsity ... for one of the top 10 college crew teams in the country. Yeah, I'm just a little proud. He's taking courses in Russian (that is, they are taught in Russian!) and he is enjoying history, psych, and more. Oh, and a part-time job. Hope he takes those vitamins I sent!
Nora is in Hungary where she is taking her senior year of high school and a full load of classes, taught in Hungarian, of course. She reports that it is tiring beyond description but she is enjoying her host family, the beauty of Hungary, the cool weather, her jaunts into Austria and her new friends. She has already been interviewed by Hungarian television because of the essay she wrote describing why she wanted to go the Hungary. She talked about the Hungarian story called "The White Stag". It was a hit! Do I miss her? Well, I step into her bedroom every morning and spray a little of her perfume around the house. Then, the rooms smell glorious, and I feel like she is near. Yeah, that says it all.
Andy is enjoying his new role .... he always gets a front seat in the car and has seniority these days. He began the school year with a party in Boston with friends he made while at Brown University this past summer. With three AP classes, a course at Stanford's OHS, and a move up to varsity rowing, he has come to fully appreciate simple things like good sleep, good food, good coffee, and down-time. He started strong this year and shows no signs of slowing down!
Hanging with some pals this past weekend.
And James has turned into a fanatical reader! He consumes 2 books per week, minimum, but often 3. All of the kids have been avid readers, but James has actually out-read his sibs when they were 10. He has a very busy year with continued study of Latin, Mythology and Ancient History in our Classics Club, in addition to weekly fishing, art class, golf clinics, and one afternoon per week on a farm. I can promise that getting muddy,while chasing goats and pigs, will be his favorite time of the week. He was accepted into the Gifted Learning Program for middle schoolers at Northwestern University and will be taking some of his classes online this year, for the first time (!)
I don't think a day goes by that Peter and I don't marvel at how good God has been to us and to our family. It is a great privilege to partner with our kids in life this way. It is a great blessing to serve.
"As for me and my house....we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15