It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I assumed this happened to other women. You know the type. No life outside of the mother role. No career. No interests. The type that reads … ehm! ehm! … romance novels. I was going to be different. I worked, I have my own interests. I have an interesting life that I love. A social life that I adore. I am … like … one of the most interesting women that I know. Like, like …seriously …. I keep busy and all.
I am surprised, no no, not surprised, I am shocked with how broken hearted I am with the business of my kids growing up an becoming more independent. I know, I know, I can hear you all chiming in unison. This is all a natural part of growing up. Kids need to separate from their parents in order to form their own individual personality. It is healthy for them to go out and about independently into the world. I totally understand that intellectually. But, how to I explain this to my heart.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The way it was supposed to go is: the kids grow up and become more independent and I enjoy and celebrate having my personal life back. Focus more on my creative pursuits and interests. I should be jumping up and down right now – going: “yipeeeeeeee ya yeah!”. I should dancing outside in the streets: “I am a free woman, I have time for myself.” Instead, here I am sitting on a couch contemplating how I will handle them going to college or ….gulp! … moving out of the house. Oh no! even the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. How will I cope?
I am devastated.
So what is it that there is this hole inside my heart that no busyness can fill. A wound , that has been visited by a variety of balms, yet healing has remained a distance rumor – tantalizing but not satisfying.
I am trying to remember a time, about 18 years ago, before I became a mother. I felt whole back then. I didn’t walk around feeling like a piece of me was missing. I was able to be that once, surely there is a way to get back into that state. How? how? how? do I get back there?
I honestly have no insight into my distress.
Yes, yes, yes … I know … I need to accept things as they are. Let go. Shut up already! these are all the right words that ring true and echo back false.
This business of parenting is an unfair trade. I purposely and with effort taught these kids practical life lessons. Such as how to tie their shoe laces, the proper etiquette in different social situations and how to eat with a fork and a knife. In return, they taught me without any effort nor intention to look at the world in awe and wonder.
It was so easy to fall in love with each new born baby that came. Each was perfect in both physical and spiritual state. In fact, it would have been impossible not to fall in love. While they might forget it, or wish to not be reminded of it, each time they look into my eyes, no matter how big, wise or smart they get, they will always glean a memory of that majestic state they arrived in into this world. I will never forget.
What doesn’t break you leaves you stronger. What does break you, on the other hand, leaves you broken open.
What is it that I am mourning? I am not sure. Is it the intimacy that I had with my children, back when they told me all their secrets and shared with me all their dreams? Or is it the physical closeness of spending hours cradling a baby. These days when I give one of them a hug they squirm “Oh no Mom! don’t hug me in front of my friends”. Or is it that feeling of content to just be. Somehow being around children makes me feel happy to let hours upon hours lazily slip by. No objective, no goals. Nothing to succeed at or achieve. Each moment just came and went on its own merry way.