Well I can’t say I’m not relieved to have just heard from my kids that they are awake if very tired still and getting their things together for their flight home.
I really proved how much I am now able to let go of control and agreed to let my daughter take my place on a trip to NYC to take my son to a concert which he loved beyond his capacity to put into words. I’ve been strangely calm about it and have managed to work without constantly ringing them or fretting about where they are or what they are doing. I’ve been grateful for technology and being able to see almost real-time the fun they’ve been having.
However it’s been a big test. Somehow harder than when I was the one on the other side of the Atlantic which was guilt trip enough.
I’m doing well though I’m trusting their capacity for independence and loving that they have clearly loved doing this together. I know now that my companionship for such trips will be less in demand and I guess that’s the correct order of things. I’m not feeling so much like a spare part as I expected and see the benefits of more freedom for myself although it does take some getting used to when you have spent 21 years or more being in constant demand.
I guess in some respects I’m fortunate that my kids chose to arrive a few years apart, it allows you to wean yourself off total immersion mothering. It must hit like a lightening strike when your only child leaves or all of your kids go in quick succession. At least for me this was only a taste of things to come and my son is still a few years off leaving home yet. These tastes are becoming more frequent though and again I guess they are becoming easier as I’m weaned off the concept of him being my baby and being fully dependent on me.
In another sense I am mindful and grateful that I got to see my life’s wish come to pass, near as possible thus far, and got to raise my kids to adulthood. As I woke to the news today of a mother having had to accept that she will lose the battle to remain here to raise her kids who are still babies and who she has very much fought to be with and who very much need her I am feeling privileged to have been given the gift of seeing my kids grow to a point where they are able to fly across the world and to have a great time without me.
Empty nest syndrome is tough for mothers but the nest seems more unnaturally empty when the chicks are still in it and it is the mama bird who has to fly away.
Grateful for being me today, for having my life and my problems, my joys and my blessings.