"I don't think it hit me--until the last one left home--that my job was basically over."
"It never occurred to me that they'd all move away."
"Boys definitely don't stick around."Three separate conversations. Three opportunities for me to stop in my tracks and wonder, "Could this actually be more difficult than I imagined?"
You know my story. I disliked motherhood for at least the first
Given how eager I was for them to go off to college during the toddler years, I must confess that I never saw this coming. This sense of foreboding that's sometimes accompanied by a dull ache when I think about what waits just around the corner. I suppose if there's a downside to have pretty great teenagers, it's that it's harder to imagine letting them go.
For the first time in my life I'm having sentimental mommy moments:
The highlight of my trip to Italy was watching Ian from a distance and finding immense joy in seeing him smile and laugh.
Pictures before the junior prom choked me up when I considered how grown up and lovely they all are. And dear God, how is it possible that next year it will be the senior prom?
I recognize that breakfast with Ian after church, before he goes to work, is precious time. And when we're together he looks at his phone less often than his father does, which makes me think the time is somewhat special to him, too.
When he makes me laugh or smile, even when he makes me crazy, I realize that our home won't be the same without him.
And it's not just Ian that I'm getting a bit emotional about these days. Although Abby is still four years away from college, I am acutely aware of what a huge void she will leave behind. For one thing, she's actually a visible presence, whereas Ian only leaves his room or the basement for food or to head out the front door for another destination. When Abby leaves home, who's going to run the household, knowing where everything is, where everyone needs to be and when, and how to do everything? Who will bake for me?
For the past year, Rob and I have been talking about our impending move, "as soon as the kids are gone." It sounded good to me, starting over, just the two of us. But now I wonder if I'm not employing the old "ditch the boyfriend/girlfriend" trick. You know, the one where you break up with him/her so he/she can't break up with you first? In other words, if Rob and I announce our decision to move on, the kids can't hurt us when it's their turn to leave. Oh, the mind games I play.
Hopefully, I'm making much ado about nothing. Perhaps I'll love having a quiet and considerably cleaner home. Perhaps I'll be so busy with my own activities I won't notice their absence (there is that theater degree in my future). Perhaps they'll call everyday just to chat so it won't feel like they're gone. Perhaps they'll both go to Villanova and I'll meet them regularly for lunch (HA!).
Perhaps I should stop worrying and wondering about the "what ifs" and try to enjoy the time I have left with them.