change comes, ready or not. seasons change, time marches on. it used to be the annual homeschool convention, where we would gather for two summer nights, share a hotel room, shop in the educational vendor hall, eat local ice cream and cupcakes, attend workshops, talk with speakers, see movies, and otherwise plan our school year for the upcoming grades we would be teaching. but somehow, in the blink of an eye, i have found myself no longer a homeschool mom and my heart breaks. well, i still have one in this nest, but she is entirely self-directed, and will likely become a college student in just over 4 short months. our son begins high school here in town next tuesday. and so there are no more annual homeschool conferences to attend, no books to order, no classes to register for, no co-ops to participate in, or lead. there are no field trips to attend, lessons to be taught or graded, teachers to meet with, tests to take, standards to meet; none except for the standards i choose to set while i figure out my new direction, a new normal, different from a life i have led for the past 15+ years. it is time for new schedules, following a different compass, finding a way into unchartered territory without the comfort of friends walking in the same direction. it's a bit scary, actually, the unknown. it will take me time to figure out where i am, not even how i am. i don't know yet, other than fragile.

were it not for the anchoring of friends, i know i would feel like a ship lost at sea. i have to seek out new horizons now, while not forgetting the ports of call i have seen along the way of this journey called life - a homeschool life. it's been so very good, and for it i am so grateful. i wouldn't have changed a thing. 

so life moves us forward and we begin to make new traditions and memories, one wave, one season at a time. for now i will enjoy the memory of this newest of non-homeschool conferences, a recent girls weekend away to the ocean, spent with some of the best women in my life. my life is better because of them and their buoy of support over the years. i hope i have given the same, and that our paths continue to intermingle, no matter which road we may take, in one of the greatest of all experiences: friendship.