Some people, maybe most people I know, hate change. I know that change can often be inconvenient, uncomfortable and even sad...but hating it is futile because that is one of the few things we can truly count on happening in our lives.
I've had a great deal of it these last several years. A new life as a single mom, a new home, new job and changes within that job. And while some of these changes have been terribly painful and others wonderful, all have shaped me to be who I am at this moment.
My two daughters graduated from high school these last two consecutive years. Sending the first off to college last fall was tough, but sending my baby off this coming week, I admit, frightens me more. Because I know with her departure comes a period of transition, and I am doing my very best to embrace it. But I am finding it challenging because along with excitement I feel for her, I also feel doubt combined a tremendous sense of loss...for me.
This chapter of her and my life is over. With my baby leaving, the day-to-day get the girls up and out, and packing lunches, worrying about dinners, juggling schedules, deadlines and homework are done. And I don't get any more do-overs.
Did I do this mothering thing right? Is she prepared? Will she make the right decisions? Who's going to clean her room? How is she going to do with out me? And...ok... let's face it, how am I going to live without her? This fun, funny vibrant personality, who along with her big sister, has been everything I have lived for for so many years. Although I know I will still live for and through their successes and failures, college issues, boyfriends, and more...the struggles will be different.
Worries change too. Now its about their overall safety, from date rape to drinking to dorm crime, to remembering stupid things I did and praying they don't make similar mistakes. But with that worry, there is a sense of acknowledgement. And trust. I raised them right...they'll make many right decisions. And many wrong ones. And when they make the wrong ones, they'll learn. As I did. You don't learn from your successes. You learn from your failures.
My parenting will change. My role will change. It has already.
I am now an advisor, and from the sidelines, a cheerleader and a GPS as they both navigate their own course. I hope it is my GPS voice they hear saying "turn left, follow your heart, don't do this, yes...do that." And as I found with my older daughter, they do come back home...and they are changed, in a good way. It's like they grow up and leave you as children, and then return home as these mature adults.
I'll always be their mom, but the next phase now begins.
I am doing my very best to embrace it.
But...if I'm doing so well...what's with the teardrops on this keyboard?