Friday, February 19, 2010

Hangin' Out and Hangin' On!

I sit just beyond the family room in an office filled with boxes. I listen to the voices of my thirteen-year-old and his two friends. I can't hear the content of their conversation just the wonderful intonation of their changing voices.

They laugh. They tease. They debate. They are three boys on the verge of becoming men.

I love being in close proximity to their spirited conversation. They are so alive.

I took them to lunch and they ate huge burritos. They'll be hungry again in moments.

In twenty minutes I must leave to pick up my 16-year-old from school.

This is my day. For a moment I pretend that I resent the confinement to 'their' schedule. But I can't lie, not even to myself, I love the rituals, the blessed children "hangin' " at my home. What will I do without them?

A text, a quick phone call, perhaps a video chat--that is what the next phase will be.

Will I survive the quiet and the endless hours of my time? Will I sit and write and become a recluse? I fear this a bit. I have a tendency to 'hole up' when the world outside feels too frightening.

I like to think I will be dreaming of something to look forward to--a special trip, an opera, a show on Broadway. But will I continually want to share these experiences with my children?
Life keeps on moving. I am so acutely aware of this right now. The end seems closer than the beginning. And I have the wisdom to know that I can't control this, but not the fortitude to be at peace. Not yet. I'm working on it.

I received a call this morning from a friend who just returned from touring colleges with her eldest son. A text this afternoon informed me of another friend's college tour with her eldest daughter. I knew both these kids when they were five. Soon these mothers will send their children off to college. What then?

At times the letting go feels right, appropriate. Other times, it feels like I am living in a parallel universe. One thing is for certain. We cannot predict the things that await us. We must hope or pray to have the courage to accept the challenges with grace and dignity and little bit of 'piss and vinegar' as my mother would have said.


  1. Let me pass on to you the prayer my pastor said for me when I started fostering ... I think it applies here:

    "May the lord that gave you the will to do this thing grant you the strength and grace to see it through."

    We'll miss them when they move out. Our parents missed us. They survived and so will we. Besides, how are we ever supposed to spoil our grandkids if we hold on to the kids forever?

  2. Hi Terry,

    Subscribed to Aiden's feed and just read your comment. Followed you here!

    Perhaps, when your children move onto a different phase of their life adventure, you will too. There are so many magnificent things to do, to learn, to see in life.

    I enjoy leaving one comfort zone to enter a new comfort zone and so on and so forth. Everyday brings something new and magical.

    Enjoy it all!


  3. I remember when I left for college (and left the nest very empty), my Mom said she went into my room and cleaned. Somehow, this helped. Not sure why, since she usually hates cleaning, but it did. I believe you'll develop new routines. You'll miss the old ones, but the new ones will begin to take that space.

  4. God, I am Loving your blog! So glad I found it!
    You put this so beautifully. Enjoy this time, right before they leave. I have to say, I really did. I still have a 15 year old at home, but I know I'll blink and it'll be over. I will say that I'm seeing my son next w/e, driving down to visit him at school in NYC. I've met my daughter there too (she's in PA) since she went away to college. It's a whole new phase of the motherhood thing, and I have to say I'm enjoying it. Of course, talk to me in 2 years when everyone's gone and it's just me here...