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so many candles so little cake

It is January 26th – The day after January 25th. So far you are obviously impressed with my superior manipulation of the obvious.

However, my days truly are numbered and the day after the 25th suddenly becomes more weighted with emotion and consternation. Yesterday, my youngest child turned 18; a big achievement and a milestone for us all. However, while I was happy to hear that it was his best birthday ever, it brought reality crashing into the 26th.

This best birthday had nothing to do with me. He is away at school and happy with his teachers, dorm mates and looking forward to bench pressing at the gym.

I brought him into the world and he is more than ready to fly. In fact, he would fly just about anywhere rather than home. No, I am not being maudlin or feeling sorry for myself, it is simply the truth.  His days of adventure and the freedom to travel, without permission slips as a minor, are stacking up like his collection of boxed basketball shoes.

My kids are more powerful and independent and I am more tired. This may be the cycle of things, but it is still scary to see the unknown third act.  Arthritis is setting into my joints as my son bench presses 900 pounds with his legs.  He cannot get his clothes tight enough and I cannot get mine loose.

He tells me that the ability to push off so much weight is all in the mind.  How did the 18 year old figure this out when I cannot? So, it is January 26th, the first day of the rest of my life with “adult children”. Truly, a Mother’s oxymoron if I ever heard one.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/daily-prompt-numbers/

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10 Comments

  1. The thing I found hard to deal with after my youngest moved out….I had to create a new identity. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. I have never regretted that choice. But now, I’m a mom with no children to taxi around, pick up after, wipe their noses. Being a mom is what I wanted for my life/career. I totally understand the moms who choose to continue to work outside the home, and there are times I wish I had chosen that path. Perhaps the empty nest wouldn’t be so blatantly empty. I wouldn’t have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Trying to accept who I am, and that has to be good enough, is my struggle. I’m so proud of my kids, but it’s sad that they no longer need me the way they used to.

    • I began that process earlier than most of wondering who I would be. Now here I am, beyond midlife, and know that I have to keep finding ways to expand my education and hopefully job skills. Nothing is as I thought it would be. If we did not have any other triggers in our lives, our children would be plenty to make us question our sanity. I don’t recall raising them any differently yet they are all SO different!

      • Mine too. My oldest two are a bit closer–they are both bookworms and book hoarders. Other than that, they are very different from each other. The youngest definitely dances to his own music. You, were smart to think about your future prior to the kids reaching adulthood. I tried, even tried for jobs–but was told my skills “were too outdated”, even though I kept them sharpened through lots and lots of volunteer work. Those three words left me insecure. I would like to go back to school–but not sure what for. Besides, we have three college tuition loans to pay off. I will get there—I believe I can do it, when I figure it out.

  2. I’m not looking forward to this. My first child is only 4 months old. A few weeks ago I spent the day crying thinking about how scared I am she won’t love me as much when she grows up… So I probably won’t handle her become an adult well!!! I’m looking forward to our life together and hoping it doesn’t fly by in a blur!

    • Hi Amber, I can only tell you that at 4 months, your child will stay where put her and she won’t say NO yet.
      That is a good thing! For better or worse, girls do communicate. The relationship between a mother and daughter will always have an important impact for both of you. For now, enjoy the cuddles and being the most important person in your daughter’s life.

  3. I love how you can say that your kids are more “powerful” and “independent” and that they are “ready to fly”! A testament to you as a parent!! I look forward to reading your blog more.

    • Thank you for such a gracious compliment. I still keep wanting to teach them things and want to be sure they develop into wonderful human beings. Out in the world, hopefully, they are respectful, compassionate and kind. In my heart, I hope that they will still need me…. it is very hard to say goodbye each time they go away.

  4. Honestly, the empty nest nearly drove me insane until I used it to learn how to fly by myself. Take it from an old chick whose youngest is 44: the children always need you, their needs simply evolve into something less physically demanding. In all the accomplishments of my life, I still list Motherhood as #1.

  5. There’s a song I know called “Bittersweet,” filled with stories of tragedy that are not at all bittersweet, but just plain bitter (losing the love of your life, seeing someone you love die). But this — this is the real definition of bittersweet. It’s when you’re happy for them, proud of what you’ve helped them become, and yet so, so sad that they don’t live in their room anymore. I am SO feeling that!

    • Yes. The days of knowing where they were and seeing sleep peacefully in their beds is long gone. This year has truly been bittersweet with the bitter and the sweet in such sharp contrast. All the wonderful occasions and milestones are so meaningful, but I feel like I keep peeking behind me at times.


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