That thing in my throat.
I think I’m winning the battle with it, but it sneaks up too often.
Tears stuck in there.
Or maybe sobs.
Because there is water in my eyes.
I’m not really that sad, am I?
But it’s this perpetual lodging of emotion
A wall of it across my throat
Right at my Adams apple.
At least it is no longer all day, every day.
It’s mostly when I kiss the last goodbye.
For twenty-three years I’ve been home.
Alone time a great gift.
Each moment with is the gift.
(And wasn’t it then, too?)
The long hours are empty of them.
Some far away. A phone call or pictures on Facebook the connection.
Others still here.
But not home.
Work. College classes. Friends.
As it should be, this.
I celebrate with and for them.
I celebrate for me, too.
Finding my rhythm.
Following my dreams now.
But I can’t avoid the grief journey.
Even when I try.
So I walk it honestly.
Letting go of that first, most treasured dream.
Staying home with them.
Teaching them to read.
Hiking and field trips
Building forts in the backyard and tents in the living room.
Snow days with shoveling and sledding and spaghetti for lunch.
Cuddling together like puppies with our favorite read-a-loud.
Praying too long at devotions.
They started timing me.
I guess I didn’t have enough alone time to satisfy all I needed to say to Him in those days.
Then driver’s licences and first jobs and sports and speech competitions
Baby steps from home.
Medium ones, too
Preparing us all for the giant leave.
One-by-one. Sometimes two or three at a time.
Strong. Ready. Joyful.
But not here.
Not here with me.
The emotion ledge in my throat doesn’t last as long today.
The house is quiet.
Excited to meet my goals.
As soon as the lump lodged in my throat allows.
Tagged: adult children, emotion of letting go, empty nest, grief, homeschooling, joy, letting go, pride, transitioning mom
Empty Nest syndrome.
When they fly it is your affirmation confirmation of having raised them well. When they return it is your confirmation of having raised them “right”.
And in between this and the next phase – weddings and grandchildren and mid life-crises – is time for you to become again who you always were, always are and always will be:
Paul Moldenhauer – fully paid-up member of the human race and God’s own family!
Thanks, Paul. I love how you always make me smile. Or think. Or both.
Beautifully stated. 🙂
Thank you, Lilka. It’s a blessing to have you comment today!
I’ve not been on WP as much as I’d like lately but I’m still around. Reading your post reminds me I’m not that far behind you. I’ve a sophomore and a junior in highschool. Where did that time go!
Lilka . . . hang in there as the transition comes. It’s beautiful even as it aches. Yours are close together as mine are. Makes for multiple goodbyes . . . but somehow we survive.
I’m going to take your word on that! 😉
Oh my gosh Paula. Thank you so much for sharing this. This was so beautiful and I cried for you. I cried here as I am having my rare ‘alone time’ using the bathroom and reading this blog! Maybe too much information but it so fits the moment! We’ve had three snow days in a row and I am so sad thinking they must go back to school tomorrow.
The grief. The grief in the mother’s heart as you have to let them go. I am feeling this more and more as time goes on. I remember bawling my eyes out hours after birthing my first son, because he was no long ‘with me’, inside me. They will always be a part of us. Always be in our hearts. I have been grieving my own motherhood journey, all those times when I have been so exhausted and consumed to fully ‘enjoy it’. But the Lord has given me a wonderful promise that I am holding fast to…I WILL HAVE AN ETERNITY TO SPEND WITH MY CHILDREN IN EVERLASTING JOY! That thought brings me so much comfort, tears, and joy.
Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart and these pictures of your precious ones. I was so blessed by this. Hugs to you, my fellow mother and friend.
Oh how I remember hiding out in the bathroom when mine were little! That made me laugh. I love your journey because I identify so strongly with it–I have all those memories of being so crazy tired I could scream and just wanting alone time. And those memories are juxtaposed with beautiful, breathless moments I never wanted to let go!
Thank you for bringing perspective to my grief. Eternity with my kids in ever lasting joy. Of course I know this, but I had never thought about it. I love that!! And YOU are precious. I’m glad the blogging world has connected our momma hearts.
Paula, this is lovely and a much needed perspective. I know I will be in this stage sooner (much sooner) than I know. Now, the days are really long. I feel like I chide my children and prod them to do their school work ALL day long. Parenting a part from the grace of God must be brutal. I need to accept His grace much more than I do.
Anyway, thank you for the beauty in this post. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you during this transition. I know God has so much in store for you.
Ah, my friend. Soak up the grace for yourself. Let our LORD love you like crazy so you can have plenty of fuel for all the loving you get to do. Thank you for your prayers. I’m gaining more and more peace in the transition. Learning to let it happen at HIS pace instead of forcing it. Finding peace. And joy.