Updated: Aug 16, 2022
As I prepare to see my fourth and final child off to college in just a few short weeks, I find the same question in my mind on repeat, “how did we get here so fast?” and “why does this have to end?”
It’s in the feelings attached to those questions that I’m so powerfully reminded - grief does not discriminate and is not only part of death and divorce but also, endings, change and kids leaving home.
While elated for the next chapter of his beautiful story to begin, I also feel sadness that the one I played such a huge role in, is coming into an end.
No more, “bye mom, have a great day. I love you” as he races down the stairs trying to beat the first period bell at school. No more sporting events, spirit weeks, back to school nights and proms.
It’s the end of a big part of our lives. The part that included smelly uniforms, messy rooms, curfews, a house full of teenagers on a random Monday afternoon, a child asking you a question about his brother who is standing right next to him, instead of asking him, a fight over who gets the front seat, an empty milk container in the fridge, the overflowing garbage because every child is waiting for someone else to do it and the list continues.
While I won’t miss all of it🙄, it’s hard to close the chapter without feeling a tug of sorrow. So much happiness made throughout the last eighteen years. The final countdown. Beautiful memories made in the past. So much uncertainty moving forward.
For many years my dreams of peaceful moments without interruption and a little less chaos would sometimes whisper and other times roar. This blessing will be hand delivered in only a few meager weeks and I’d like to respond in big bold letters - Return To Sender!
So what are the answers? How do we get through this twister game of emotions? This is how we do it 🤔 Deep breath friends…
We feel our feelings. We allow ourselves the space to be sad. We don’t judge our despair. We show ourselves compassion and let grief move through us. And then…we choose. We choose to look forward. We choose to visit the past only to gather the cherished experiences that we have so meticulously weaved into the tapestry of parenthood. We choose to remember that these memories are ours forever and we hold them in our heart and on our heart like a badge of honor. We choose to look forward towards what’s next with the same excitement and elation that got us here 💃
And then we create. We begin to get excited about what’s possible and we construct. We remember that our memories are like building blocks and we assemble. We grasp firmly into the belief that there is so much more to come and we generate.
And then one day we wake up and we smile…
Infused with gratitude and preoccupied by possibility, we are proud of the past, focused on the future and most all, planted in the present. For we know how fast it all goes and we aren’t willing to miss a moment.❤️