Love and pride in the amazing human being that is ready to loosen or break the apron strings,spread their wings and fly.
Appreciation for the interesting, joyful, fun adult companion and friend they have become in addition to being my baby.
Sadness to see them leaving and moving beyond me even though I know that is what I intended.
Nostalgia for all the sweet memories and the years that passed so quickly.
Frustration that we didn’t savor the moments more while they were happening, not really understanding how fleeting they would be
Trepidation about the new adventures and adversity the chicks might face without us, no longer needing us to be the guide.
Fear for myself: who am I now? Will I be able to shift smoothly into this new stage and bring my attention back to prioritizing my needs and growth after so many years of focus on preparing the chicks to leave the nest?
Worries I try to hide :
Will they be ok? Will they find love? happiness? security?
Will they still want to talk? laugh? visit?
How do we adapt as a couple?
Why does everyone else seem to transition so easily?
How do other mothers get through the day with no tears?
Why do some seem so happy to send their children off?
What’s wrong with me?
Hope. Can I turn the emptiness of loss into the space to bring forth new creative projects? Maybe ones that have been put on the back burner? Or completely new ones for who I am now?
Joy and Gratitude for all our blessings and choices and new things ahead.
Sigh. Smile. Deep breath.
Cue up Bill Staines song, Child of Mine.
One that has been making me sniffle since those days of what seemed like endless rocking chair time. Especially these sections:
There is a road, and that road is all your own
But we are here, you need not walk alone.
To face, not fear each coming new unknown
Is the way to lift your wings
Child of mine, where spirits fly above
There is but one that belongs to you
So let it grow and it will thrive on love
For it is love that sees us through.
You have hands that will open up the doors,
You may have the hopes this world is waiting for
You are my own, but you are so much more
You are tomorrow on the wing, child of mine.
(excerpted lyrics copyright Bill Staines, Child of Mine)
I’ve learned a lot from my child. Guess I’ve still got things to learn.