Thursday, May 8, 2008

GIVING HER WINGS - Real-Life Mom Oregonian column

REAL-LIFE MOM - SW Weekly Oregonian
By Cornelia Seigneur
Daughter's wings to take her far, bring her back
Thursday, May 08, 2008
The Oregonian

M y mother-in-law said recently, "Why are you letting Rachel go so far away to school next year?"

My daughter plans on attending Bodenseehof Bible School, a Capernwray college, in Germany -- the country of my birth -- this September.

I responded that I have to let her go. It is what she wants. I try to give my children wings, and I'm happy that my daughter has goals and dreams.

Yet now reality is hitting.

Rachel has applied to work full time this summer with Clackamas County. She says this will help her earn a chunk of money for college.

Problem is, Rachel working full time means we forgo our usual family road trip and the summer spontaneity I love.

I should be happy that Rachel is so responsible, caring about helping pay for college. Instead, I have mixed emotions. I'd rather she just continue her part-time, work-from-home, flexible-hours writing and transcribing jobs, which are just right for us to plan a family getaway, something we have done each summer since Rachel was born.

I'm realizing this could be our last summer together. There's so much inside me that doesn't want things to change.

Yet I know things must.

We have a creek in our backyard. We bought our house 18 years ago for the yard and have stayed here because we love it so much.

The creek is a draw for wildlife, and every year two ducks fly in to bathe there. We have a family story that the same ducks come back each year. When Rachel and her brother Ryan, a year behind her, were toddlers, they named those ducks Cora and Chester -- Chester was the name of an elderly gentleman one block over.

We purchase cracked corn at the farm store for the ducks. One year Cora laid eight eggs in the ivy behind the creek.

In midsummer, Cora and Chester fly away. But once the cherry trees bloom again, Cora and Chester return, confirming spring's arrival.

I've always wondered what makes them fly back every year. Is it the flowing water? Is it the calmness of our yard, nestled in woods and ivy? How do they find their way back?

As I think about Rachel leaving this fall, going so far away, I ponder: What will bring her back? What will remind those wings to point in the direction of her family?

Perhaps it is providing a place of acceptance and letting her know that this is always home. No matter how far she goes, and no matter how long she is gone. I have to let her fly with the wings I have given her.

I am glad she is using them.

And, hey, as I told my mother-in-law: In the meantime, I have an excuse to book a flight to my home country.

Cornelia Seigneur is a West Linn writer and mother of five. Her column appears the second Thursday of each month. Visit her blog at www.corneliaseigneur.com or e-mail her at inaword@comcast.net http://www.oregonlive.com/metrosouthwest/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/metro_southwest_news/1209866102227020.xml&coll=7

6 comments:

Trekin4JC said...

It's cool your daughter is going to a Bible college. We need more people with good Christian education in this world. Thanks for your comments on my blog. Conversing with you through myspace really got my passion for writing stiring again. It's been great. Thanks!

P.S. I already have my tickets for Friday!

Trekin4JC said...

It's cool your daughter is going to a Bible college. We need more people with good Christian education in this world. Thanks for your comments on my blog. Conversing with you through myspace really got my passion for writing stiring again. It's been great. Thanks!

P.S. I already have my tickets for Friday!

wendy vonderahe said...

How do I not know you? I go to Imago and work with the 2's...but I guess your kids have been older than 2 long than I've been in there. But I'm a mom...how have we not crossed paths? Anyway, I had to stop when I saw Bodenseehof... I went to Capernwray and Tauernhof in, oh...1993/4. I turned 20 in Austria. I can't believe my mom let me go! But it was totally what I needed to finally sprout wings, which then had a long time unfurling, and I so much appreciate her strength in letting me loose. Looking back, if my daughter hadn't sprouted some kind of wings by 19, I'd MAKE her go overseas! I was such a naive teen!
Maybe we'll actually meet someday soon...I look forward to reading your mom-blogs!

Cornelia Becker Seigneur said...

Yes, I am thrilled she is going to Bible school- and I got the short straw to take her there this fall ! . . . glad your passion for writing has been rekindled...
PS- refresh my memory- what tickets?

Cornelia Becker Seigneur said...

Hi Wendy- thanks for your kind words and wow, you went to Bodenseehof- what did you think?
she will go to the Austrian German speaking one in January- I really want her to learn German better...keep in touch...
Cornelia Seigneur
'
PS - we are not regular at Imago- just go for refreshing times...love Rick McKinley's books

Anonymous said...

Your daughter will have the most amazing time at Bodenseehof and her time there will likely, as it has for so many before her, be one of the highlights of her life. I went to Bodenseehof just over 30 years ago - but the memories, experiences and growth I experiences there are still very vivid and alive in my mind. Of all the experiences I have lived in my life so far, this one is the one I'd go back and revisit in a heartbeat. An excellent, excellent choice on your daughter's part. My children will soon be finishing highschool, and I would LOVE if they chose to go to Bodenseehof (or any other Capernwray). The Christian grounding, faith building and growth they will receive is immeasurable. While I was at Bodenseehof, I had the opportunity to stay at Tauernhof in Austria over Christmas (that's actually where I learned to ski correctly) and it is equally wonderful. The town, Schladming is nestled in the mountains and is a photographers dream. I LOVED it there - even went back there several years later in the summer to experience the mountains without snow.
What an amazing opportunity your daughter will have. What a great gift she will give herself - for the rest of her life.
AFter all these years, I am now (thanks to Facebook) being reunited with my old friends from Bodenseehof and totally enjoying catching up and learning about their life journey to date. The so... the memories come flooding back again because of this. Good and wonderful memories.

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