My Facebook Feed is full of farewells. It's that time of year again in the Northern Hemisphere where kids go off to university. I seem to have a disproportionate amount of friends who have kids leaving for the first time! And it brings back memories.
I keep having the same conversation with women. It bursts out of them when the subject comes up. "We dropped him off and I cried all the way home. I still cry way too much." "I thought I was ready, but it felt like I'd been punched in the gut." "I feel bad because I'm actually excited for her but it's been so hard on me." "Why didn't anyone tell me that letting them go was going to be soooo hard?"
Someone should write a book about it. Really. It's huge and so many of us seem to be blindsided by it. I wasn't prepared for sure. There are all those books about having babies, raising them right, but not about letting them go. Or maybe we're too much in denial first to go looking?!!
I love the relationship I have with my girls now. I love watching them spread their wings. I love having adult conversations with them and getting a window into their world. But that leaving and getting used to it after?
It's reminding me to savor the time I have left with my boys. They'll be gone all too soon.
I look forward to the future with Steve. We've never had much time alone. Getting married with four kids already was pretty busy! We haven't begrudged the focus on family, it's been wonderful, but we've been aware that we need to remain intentional about 'us.' It will be nice to be able to be the 'us' that normally comes pre-kids.
But before that means more leaving. More letting go of the children of my womb and even more so of my heart. More taking off of protective hands and helping them jump out of the nest. More moments of fluttering wings, holding of breath as you wait to see what will happen........
The other day I said it. Trite words spoken in the frustration of the moment. Fifteen isn't easy on them. The emerging adult trying to push their way out, yet the skin of the child not quite shed. It's hard to keep up. Grown up one minute and juvenile the next. Flashes of brilliance yet wrapped in humanity. Fifteen.
In exasperation, "Just, just (searching for words).........GROW UP."
Mentally reaching out to pull those words back in----but I can't.
I want him to mature. Grow. Fly. But I'm in no hurry really.
Grow up. But please, not just yet...............!