So, my oldest will be spreading her wings and flying the nest soon and I have to admit that I have been panicking. WHERE DID THE TIME GO? It seems like just yesterday that I was 23, graduating from college with my little sweet pea budding in my belly. Surely it was just yesterday that I was wiping off her peanut butter jelly face and putting her hair in pig tails. I have to admit that I was just as nervous about that as I am about this. The beginning and the end of her childhood. As I write this, tears flood my eyes. I can literally still feel that feeling of her fluttering in my belly like a little butterfly. I never wanted anything more than to be a mom even though she was a surprise. A glorious, unregrettable surprise. Things didn’t go as planned but I was so thrilled to become a mom that it didn’t even matter to me.
When she was born I swore she would be a boy. I was in total shock when they told me I had a daughter. And that was it, I was officially a mom. It was real. When I locked eyes with my little beauty I fell even more in love than I ever imagined I could. I finally got the meaning of unconditional love. I would move mountains for her, I would die for her. I loved being a mom. Holding her hand, cleaning her face, brushing her hair and teeth, helping her to get dressed, reading to her, teaching her. All of it was special and I was voluntarily consumed with it. Then she got a brother, who I swore was going to be girl, good thing I’m not a betting woman. Again, tiny blue eyes locked mine and I was in love again, with the sweet little boy who held my finger. He was gorgeous, happy and healthy and I felt complete. Now I had two little people depending on me. Two little angels who were mine to love, to hold, to teach. I was blessed beyond measure.
I wasn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. Most of their lives with me have been with me as a single mom. My choice in a partner didn’t end with a partner but I am thankful for him nonetheless because he gave me two of the greatest gifts of my life. We were the three musketeers for a long time. I poured everything I had into being their mom. I worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs to take care of them. We didn’t have a lot but we were happy. We were safe. They were my life and my light. I was stressed a lot but I loved them more. I hope they felt the love most of all. Eventually we found a man to love us, support us and stand with us. We went from the 3 muskateers to the family of 7 we are now and I couldn’t be happier. Except….
What happens when your life starts to grow up? Starts to become independent? What happens to the mom left behind when the little birdies leave the nest? Those are things that I have been forced to start asking myself. I was in denial and I was good at it. I was snuggled up tight in my comfy bed of denial. Up until I had to start planning a graduation party, go on college visits and watch my gorgeous, smart, sweet baby girl walk across the stage at her graduation. Tears stung my eyes, my heart ached an ache I’ve only felt a few other times in my life. My heart was breaking. I couldn’t deny it anymore. Time was moving on without my permission. I could no longer live in the delusion that just because I wasn’t ready for my kids to grow up and leave me, didn’t mean that it wouldn’t happen anyway.
I’m not afraid for my daughter, not really. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve done a good job teaching her how to stand up for herself, how to provide for herself, how to make smart decisions. She is a great human being with a kind heart, a loving soul and a mind of her own. If I’m honest, which I guess is the point of this blog, I am afraid for me. I know that she still loves me, still needs me, but from this point on things will never be the same. I’m learning to be ok with that. Learning that maybe if I’m lucky, what was great will be even better. My head knows this, my heart needs some convincing. I guess I’m afraid that I won’t know who I am if I’m not Super Mom. The busy bee running here and there to this and that for all my kiddos. Who will I be when they are all gone? That is what I was afraid of. Am afraid of. I began to be consumed by this fear. I started to bury myself in it. I was paralyzed by this fear of not knowing who the heck I am.
Luckily, my loving honey James was there to encourage and coax me patiently out of my hole. He held me as I cried and talked about my fears. He suggested that I reflect on who I was before I was a mom. So, this is the beginning of the journey to do just that. To remember the girl who loves words, pictures, learning and life, to find and reclaim my light. To wake up my sleeping soul and continue to be the busy bee mom I will always be and still have room to be me….Stacy. Wish me luck and say some prayers to help me in my journey if you like or just join me in the journey. 🙂