I thought my next post would be about empty nesting—my feelings during the drop off of my youngest at college in another state, and struggling to cope with the empty spaces and extra time in my life, trying to remember what it’s like to be me without being in daily mom mode.
Absolutely beautiful, Kristy!
I hope your daughter's recovery is swift and offers her a better quality of life after, with no repeat issues. 🤞
It's interesting how trauma plays out differently for each of us. Maybe neurotype plays a role here, but although I was fiercely independent, I still had a desperate need for my father's approval of all my friends, and any lover I thought could be more than a booty call. Yet, 15 years later, I couldn't care less what my father thinks about much of anything, let alone the people I surround myself with. (Although, it probably helps that one of his teases are, "Is s/he a liberal?" as he cackles into the receiver any time I've met a new potential friend. I roll my eyes, and generally respond, "It's Seattle, Dad. What do you think?" I don't know why I still entertain him sometimes....)
As an almost teen-mom, and a mom to three—one teen and two preteens—this message was heartening, but also saddening. Several health issues run in our family, and I had kids too young to discover these particular brands of issues beforehand. So we're all in this early stage of learning and understanding what our bodies and minds can and can't do, together. It's scary, feeling like I'm stumbling around in the dark when I "should" know what to do for and with my kids' care—I should have brought a flashlight, but I didn't know I'd need one. (So much for that over-stuffed "Mom Bag" I still schlep around, even though my kids are perfectly capable of carrying items for their own needs. I just can't help it, it seems.)
And for someone who looks ahead, excited for my empty-nest future, this offered me a surprising sense of calm: "...motherhood does not end when your kids leave the house. Motherhood is a force that resides inside you and breaks forth like a phoenix’s flame when summoned. It doesn’t fade—it deepens and spreads like roots you sowed years ago into the world." As much as I complain about the trials of motherhood, being their mom has been a gift. And although I am still excited for time alone with my husband for the first time in our history together, I feel tranquility in simply knowing that my kids will have their mother past their teen years. That I'll do everything in my power to be at their bedside in the hospital—if that day ever was to come—when they're in their 20s, 30s, and hopefully beyond.
This was inspiring, Kristy.. Thank you. 💝
Hugs to you Kristy! And continued healing for your daughter. 💕I felt the power of your love for your family as well as the enormity of your feelings during this immensely challenging time. Tears in my eyes by the end. I’ll be thinking about your question and my friendships for a long time. Who are the trees in my life? There’s a poem hiding in your post. 💜
I felt so much reading this!!!
Gorgeous post. Welcome back! So glad that everyone is doing well and full recovery is on the way. I resonate with so much of this, and the writing is stunning. Hugs to you!