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Saturday, August 3, 2013

All I've known......

There is a song by Matt Wertz titled "All I know".  I love the lyrics which can be interpreted in several different ways depending on my mood.

"All I know is the bleeding in my heart 
And the healing in your touch All I know is that you gave everything 
So let that be enough 'Cause it's all I know"

A girlfriend and I were talking the other day about our youngest leaving for college. In no uncertain terms she informed me we MUST plan a couple of girlfriend trips in August and September to help soften the blow of our empty nest. Today I sat at my desk and stared at the calendar hanging on my cubicle wall. One week, I had one week before I move my youngest to the City and everything I've ever known changes. Honestly, I feel like a big ole tit bag whining about the kids moving off to college, still, I can't help but spill whatever angst  I'm feeling onto a public blog in hopes that I'm not alone.... In a "It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to." kind of way. The truth is, there are some things in life, you simply cannot adequately prepare yourself for.  A friend of mine had breast cancer. As much as I wanted to understand her pain, I couldn't because I hadn't walked that path. A friend of mine suffered a devastating divorce from the father of her children and the man she was sure was her soul mate. It scared me so badly, I insisted my husband and I go to marriage counseling just so it wouldn't happen to us. My heart ached as I watched her attempt to put her shambled life back into order. I remember when as the baby of the family, I left home, I saw my parents struggling to get used to it being just the two of them again. In my brilliant mind I intended to take proactive steps to prevent the eventual empty nest from catching us off guard, so we've done everything in our power to maintain our relationship. But as I looked at the calendar on the wall, I fear we haven't done enough and panic seized my gut. Women are nurturers, that's just what we do. I got married young and had children 
young. The idea of going off on my own was short lived and squashed after graduation, so marriage seemed like the logical next step. All I'd ever dreamed of being was a wife and a mother. Now looking back, that's all I've ever known.... Which isn't a bad thing, but has become a very scary thing. My dreams never really developed past the point of when the children were grown and gone. As my last child entered high school, I realized that all I've ever known was pleasing other people.... There really hadn't been energy or courage to do things outside other people's expectations. When I think of moving my son next week, I almost get physically ill. The house is going to be so still.... Big... Empty. What will I do? I look at my husband, whom I adore, and I wonder if we'll have anything to talk about for the next 30 years. We're really not that interesting. He knows all of my stories, I've heard all of his stories and there is an overwhelming panic that I'm just going to cease to exist. I know that probably sounds overly dramatic, but that's what's 
going through my head this week. I remember when the babies were learning to walk.... How they would hold onto a piece of furniture and my husband would get in front of them, with his arms outstretched, encouraging them. I would walk behind with my hands cupped under the bottoms in case they lost their footing and fell. Why was I so afraid of them falling? Naturally, I wanted to prevent them from getting hurt, but in reality, babies have very short legs and we bubble wrap their butts the minute they come into this world, so a fall from a standing position onto a padded bottom isn't a life threatening event, yet there we were, hands cupped from behind, hands held up in front, just in case the knees wobbled and the wee one plopped to the floor. That's a little how I feel about my youngest moving out. I desperately want to prevent him from all kinds of mistakes, but could I really? I've never ventured the path he is about to embark upon. I've never experienced taking those first steps alone. So what is really at the root of my anxiety. The root of my anxiety is the fear I have about my own future, not his. Mistakes are inevitable and he'll live though them. When it's all mixed together, it's just the process of living a full life. Insecurity breeds insecurities. If I refuse to let go, he's just going to resist my grip all the more. I have to let go and trust he can do it and believe that even with the absence of a house full of kids, my husband and I will paddle our way through this shallow part of the river, to deeper waters ahead.

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