Over the past year I have had some pretty big changes in my life. Well they are big to me. I turned 40 which felt like a monumental shift on many fronts. Then my oldest child decided to proclaim that he was a man and move into being a Senior in High School. I wasn’t ready for this, it kind of hit me over the head like a hammer even though I watched it happening. I mean it was only yesterday I held him in my arms for the first time. It was he that made me a Mother for the first time and completely changed every single part of me instantly. Now he is telling me he is a man and driving off with his Senior friends to do Senior things ?! I can’t help but wonder where did all the years go, and could I please rewind a little until I feel comfortable.
So as the school year has come to an end, I am dealing with the struggles of this once little boy not being a little anymore, but surely not the man that he is proclaiming to be either. Not only is he 6’3 and still growing, but he clearly is trying to prove to me that he is no longer my little boy. How rude !! Sometimes he is so frustrated with me that he looks at me and says “get over it, I’m no longer your little boy. Deal with it. Ouch! Awful! Yes it hurts and I don’t like it, but my higher self knows that he is trying to express and claim his independence, which I ultimately want for him. I am just struggling with my range of emotions and the fear of the unknown. Mostly I feel a sense of loss for this man/boy I can only catch glimpses of. I know he needs me, but it’s not the same way he needed me when he was two or even like his ten year old brother does. The shift has been gradual, but somehow it feels violent.
I’m mourning the loss of precious time that has flown by and just wanting to hold onto him a little longer. I know that this is a natural process, but now that it is before me it is harder than I every imagined it to be. I am learning the importance of letting him be independent, but not without discomfort because the world can be big and unforgiving. Teenagers are cavalier and I guess I just want to continue holding his hand as he goes out into that big world. Sadly I cannot, nor does he need me to.
You may be thinking, “just get over it, this is part of life”. I know that the cycle of life is to raise our children, and then they grow up and move out. Cognitively, it makes perfect sense to me, emotionally it feels unnatural. I have been a mother for as long as I remember, its my identity and the richest part of my story so far. I think for so long I have just been a mom and as my children started growing into adulthood, I recognized that I am shedding a part of my identity. The problem is I don’t want to ! It feels jagged. I am just trying to move into this next phase with grace and infinite trust. Really I just want to hold on… such is the experience of parenting a child. It’s a constant letting go. The paradox is real.
About 10 months ago I wrote a song called “One Day”. It was very therapeutic for me, but also very emotional as well. When I wrote it, I did so knowing that my son was graduating this year and that this going to be the first of many changes. In my mind I reminisced of when I was a child and then I remembered when I left home. This gave me a better sense of how my parents must have felt. I was full of compassion for them and for myself.
Here are the lyric’s to my song “One Day”
SPINNING ROUND IN CIRCLES WHILE YOU SING TO ME MEMORIES RUSHING THROUGH MY BODY SILENTLY SMALLER THAN IT SEEMED WHERE I USE TO SLEEP HOME WAS ALWAYS SACRED BUT I HAD TO LEAVE
HOW THE TIME FLIES BY NOW I SEE YOU WERE RIGHT THAT THIS DAY HAS COME ALONG I CAN SAY I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THAT ONE DAY I WOULD TAKE THIS SONG AND YOU’D HAVE TO LET GO OF MY HAND
SPINNING ROUND IN CIRCLES WHILE I SING TO YOU MAKING MEMORIES JUST LIKE I USE TO DO YOUR BIGGER THAN YOU SEEM ALMOST TALLER THAN ME HOME IS ALWAYS SACRED NOW YOU HAVE TO LEAVE
HOW THE TIME FLEW BY NOW I SEE WITH MY OWN EYES THAT THIS DAY HAS COME ALONG I CAN SAY I FINALLY UNDERSTAND AND TODAY YOU’LL TAKE THIS SONG CAUSE I KNOW I HAVE TO LET GO OF YOUR HAND
SPINNING ROUND IN CIRCLES WHILE YOU SING TO ME MEMORIES RUSHING THROUGH MY BODY SILENTLY
CAUSE THE DAY HAS COME ALONG YOU CAN SAY YOU
FINALLY UNDERSTAND AND TODAY YOU’LL TAKE THIS SONG
CAUSE I KNOW ITS TIME FOR YOU TO PASS IT ON
SPINNING ROUND IN CIRCLES WHILE YOU SING TO ME
MEMORIES RUSHING THROUGH MY BODY SILENTLY