The Season of Letting Go

That seems to be the season I'm in right now.

Letting go.  Letting go of one kid, who turned 18 a month ago, and is testing the strength of our mother/child bond every day.  Letting go of him means allowing myself the luxury of admitting that he is not perfect, and is not going to do things by the book.  Letting go of him doesn't mean I've stopped loving him...in fact, quite the opposite:  my letting go of him means I love him so much I realize this is what I have to do.  Now I understand how the mama bird feels when she gently (or maybe not so gently) nudges her fledgling out of the nest.  That's the only way they'll ever learn how to fly.

Letting go.  Letting go of another kid, my baby...who is leaving elementary school this year and is on his way to The Next Step.  That means letting go of my role as Elementary School Mom, a role I've played for 13 years.  That's one year longer than I played the role of Wife.  My "older" friends, meaning friends who have already left elementary school behind them, have been advising me over the years, advising me about this somewhat traumatic dissolution between mother and school.  "When it's time, you'll be ready", they all said. 

And they're right.  I'm ready.  I realized this during the last PTO meeting I sat through, and I watched a few of us old battleaxes raise our hands and offer suggestions and make motions.  And then I watched the new batch of mommies, all eager and YOUNG and fresh and did I mention YOUNG?  I watched them and realized that this is how it's meant to be.  Time to make room for the new ones, like the moms before us did.  I flashbacked to one of my first PTO meetings, I was pregnant with William and sat next to another mom who was gently rocking  her newborn baby girl in a carseat.  It was one of the few nights I was able to go out, on my own, and there I was in the stuffy library (we call it the "media center" now), dazed at the organizational and communication skills these veteran moms were displaying like peacocks in full plumage.   

Letting go.  Letting go of the fantasy that my kids will be kids forever.  How is it that life can turn so quickly, that those never-ending days have somehow shot by faster than a speeding bullet?  I remember when I got pregnant with baby number four, someone with a not quite firm grasp on the concept of tact asked me, "Why on earth would you have another baby?" and before I could stop myself I answered "Job security."

Letting go.  Letting go of the anger and the sadness and the frustration over being left.  I like to talk big about how I'm so over it, and how I'm getting my groove back and how I am like the mythical Honey Badger (warning, NSFW or kids) in that I don't give a shit. 

But the reality is, sometimes it takes a while for wounds to heal.  And although mine may appear to be healing up quite nicely, thank you, there are still some tender spots.  They say that on average, it takes about five years to get over a divorce.  I'm a few months behind that statistic, but then again, my divorce has had a few restarts over the years.  It's still rearing its ugly head, and I see now that my proclamation to Big Daddy, all those years ago when he first left, that "this will change things, forever" was right.  Nothing is the same, and nothing will ever be the same.  I know someday, I will see a text from him and not wince, and I will someday listen to the kids talk about something they did at "his" house and not feel like someone just kicked me in the stomach.  That someday is long overdue.  I need to let go of whatever phantom weight  is on my shoulders, whatever invisible chains I have decided to wrap around myself like a female, middle aged version of Jacob Marley. 

Letting go.  I need to let go, in order to go on. 


  1. How ell I recognise what you describe: the wincing when there is an email or text from the X, the phantom weight on the should and especially the kick in the stomach when this kids did something 'there'.....
    Please, when you find out how to let all of that go, and to get rid of the phantom weight and those invisible chains - please let me know! It is wearing me out as well. After all that has happened, that I have still be unable to completely cut loose and let go....
    Maybe it's a process, maybe the scar is there to stay? But you ARE doing well and the best is yet to come. Looking forward to your lessons and wisdom on letting go.....

    1. Jeannette, if I find the secret to letting go I will for sure share it! I thought it would be a faster, easier process...I guess watching the "other guy" move on without a single glance back made me think that I, too, would be doing the same thing.

      But at what cost do they walk away without all of this guilt? Those of us who are left behind to clean up the mess and tend to the kids are kind of stuck.

      I had a crappy morning with my eldest and as I was crying in the laundry room (because I like to multi-task, ya know) I occurred to me that I expend so much of my time and energy on the kids (especially that kid) I have nothing left for me. That is why I have to let go. Because life is passing me by!

      Hope you're doing well!!


  2. That last year of high school was the worst for me. My mom and I fought every day until I left for college and even on the drive up we had a HUGE blowout. Turning 18 and still living at home creates quite the internal conflict. I think push for community college, getting a job, and moving out. The relationship needs some space. By Christmas break all wounds were healed and we went on vacation alone together to Florida and had a fabulous time. I then moved back home for a year at 24 and it was a HUGE mistake. Right back to high school again. He needs space and time to figure things out and to MISS you and your guidance. Get big daddy to kick in a 1st months rent as a grad present and follow through with it. There are great safe apartments in uptown for 500 a month. My bestie lives in one. He can get a job waiting tables and something else on the side and more than cover that and living expenses. By fall he'll be excited for school. If you let him sleep all day in your house all summer barely working and spend it fighting, there is no way he will have the motivation. I know it's tough. Thinking of you.

  3. Good advice, Genevieve. I think distance between mom and son would be a good thing...I actually talked to my dad about this last night, first time I've talked to him in a few years. Lots of tears, but good tears. My ex-in laws are also wanting to help get this kid on the right track, so I am feeling really good about this.

    I would live in uptown right this second if I didn't have all of these kids! My favorite place to live.


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