§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
Am I Supposed to Be Over It Already?
There is often this sense in our culture that we are supposed to get used to things and move on quickly. Not dwell too long in our emotions, especially in our grief, sadness, loneliness.
I even find myself hesitating writing about how much I miss my oldest daughter for fear that you will get bored and think, “Is she writing about it again? Can’t she get over it and move on already?“
But what makes writing this blog fulfilling for me is to be real and even brutally honest with how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life.
So here’s the truth… I’m blessedly super busy with the Extraordinary Life After 40 Summit I’m organizing and I enjoy my two other daughters and my husband and my friends.
I’m not at home weeping all the time. I laugh and manage to enjoy myself every day.
And yet underneath it all is a low-level grief and sadness, especially before bed and on the weekends. A sense of disbelief that it’s over. That after 17 years of sharing daily life, she’s halfway around the world and has left home most likely, for good.
She’s having fun and new experiences and I feel somehow relegated to the past, to the same old that doesn’t change much. I feel my 48 years like I never have before.
I want to hold on to our close, connected-on-a-daily basis relationship and yet I notice that she is calling and texting less and less. It has only been two weeks and it hurts.
At the same time, I don’t want to be annoying or overbearing. I don’t want her rolling her eyes to her friends in the dorm saying something like “Ughh. I have to call my mom.“
I don’t know how to navigate this new relationship. She is still in high school and I don’t feel like my job is quite yet done. Yet she is half way around the world and I need to give her space. Space to find herself, to hear her own voice without hearing mine, to become the woman she is meant to be.
It’s scary to give up input and the sense that if I can have a say in her choices and her life, then I will somehow keep her safe. I know better than that. She will have to make decisions from her own inner wisdom and luckily, she is wise beyond her years.
But it’s still hard to give up the illusion that I have control.
So I breathe… and breathe again deeper this time… and remember that this is a process of letting go that takes longer than 2 weeks.
I give myself permission to cry when I feel like it. To answer truthfully when people ask me how I’m doing. To know that it’s ok to laugh and enjoy life and then to feel deep grief.
I was pregnant for over 9 months with her and then mothered her daily for 17 years, 1 month and 3 days… It will take some time to adjust to this new reality.
And I notice that I’m holding back the tears.
So, what about you? Have you had a child leave home? How did you feel about it?
As always, I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch at email@example.com.
What a mixed blessing. You have good news and bad news and they’re both the same news: You raised a child with enough confidence to go away from home. Well done, mama. This is not to diminish your sadness. In a way it’s harder for moms now than it was when my sons were the age of your daughter. There were no cell phones. When my 22 year old son took a teaching job in the inner city of Miami, he was there for two years before there was technology available for him to carry a pager. I truly honor you for your self-restraint. Don’t think she’s not aware of the folks back in the nest! You all gave her wings. So it’s way harder on you, her mom who has been aware of her every breath, than anyone else. I love how you opened your heart in this writing. She’s a fortunate young woman who isn’t gone but is just away.
Thanks so much Marguerite! I too remember leaving home at 18 and calling once a week. And it’s different now, when you can try to reach them at any time but don’t know how much is too much. And yes, I am so proud of the young woman she is and how she can move halfway around the world a month after her 17th birthday and thrive. The good news. And I miss her terribly! The bad news. It’s just a part of life and learning to let go….