While April 1 holds the title "April Fools' Day" in the minds of most people, to me it is one of the most beautiful dates on the calendar. In my heart it represents the true beginning of spring -- the mud of March is behind us (although, not this year), the birds are singing, crocuses, daffodils and tulips are poking their heads through the warming earth, and the air is filled with the promise of re-awakening. What a joy it is to contemplate the rebirth to come.
This year spring represents new beginnings in my life as well. Last weekend my new granddaughter, Emma Christine was born. Nothing can compare to the profound awe of holding your newborn grandchild in your arms for the first time, tracing her silky cheeks with your finger and tenderly kissing her. As I looked into her eyes, deep blue like her Daddy's, the deep connection was immediate and profound. We will love and cherish this child, and her genes will carry a part of all of us into the future.
My children are all in the midst of their own new beginnings, too. Emma's Dad is in the process of having a new house built for his growing family. My other son has started his own business, and my daughter has moved into an apartment in our home to continue her education and find a more fulfilling path in her life.
Our family business has succombed to the economic slowdown. While we had planned to continue working until retirement and then pass a healthy business down to our son, this, unfortunately, was not to be. Juggling the care of my grandchildren and hours of office work have been difficult, but to be suddenly unemployed is a shock. However, though this is an unexpected ending, I also see it as a beginning of a different way of life. In the fall I will have my new grandbaby to care for along with her brother and cousin, so my days will be full. We will "downsize" our lifestyle to match our reduced income -- gone are the days of two cars and dinners out. But, there is also a challenge in economizing and watching pennies, and my evenings and weekends will be my own -- no office work will beckon to me. As a stay-at-home Mom when my children were young, my lifestyle was frugal, and I will once again return to old habits. There is a peacefulness and simplicity of sorts in frugality.
I have always believed in the old adage, "When God closes one door, he opens another." As our new lives take shape, I will have more time to smell the roses and plant the vegetables and tend the precious grandbabies, and explore what God has planned for my next life chapter.