I could have written this passage myself, as I sat here this morning on my bed, mourning the past, not sure what the future looks like but convinced that I'm not going to like it. You see, when we return home from Ormond this afternoon, I will be facing an empty-er house than when I left. One more bedroom will be empty, one more little bird having flown the nest. Bambi moved into an apartment with her boyfriend, a decision I not only approved of but celebrated for her. She's a smart, independent, mature young woman and she's ready to move out on her own. I have no doubt that she will be successful and happy in her new home. But me? That's another story.
I got pregnant with Kali when I was nineteen years old, I have been a mother for 28 years. It is the most important job I've ever done, the only one that really mattered, and I put my heart and soul into it. I barely remember my adult life before children, before full-time mothering, and I have no idea how to do anything different. Of course, I have Beren and my pets and my hobbies, and a little part-time job that fills my time, but first and foremost I am a Mother. And, yes, I realize that I will always have that role, but it's different now that they are adults. They no longer need or want my "parenting." They want and need to live their own lives, find their own place in the world, and that's normal, natural and healthy. I am just not sure how to "do" this parenting-of-adults. How involved should I be? How often do I call, visit? Where is the line between abandonment and independence? How much is simply too much?
I am struggling with these questions, desperately seeking the answers from "experts" as well as my friends but, alas, no one I know has been here yet. Having my girls so early puts me at a disadvantage as many of my peers are still struggling with teenage issues, not ready to deal with the emptying of their nest. I feel like I'm navigating these unchartered waters without a compass or a map, hoping I'm headed in the right direction but not even certain of my destination! It's terrifying yet just a little bit exciting as well. Even though my tears, I tentatively look forward to where this next phase of life may take me but understand that in order for me to get there, wherever "there" may be, I have to release myself from the security of the dock and set sail. Bon Voyage.