A few days ago I learned a huge lesson when I accidentally ran into a good friend of my mother’s in the grocery store. He asked about “the children” whom he has known since they were 3 and 5. I talked, half laughing and half serious about what they were doing, about how life has changed, how we see them less, and how grown up they are, “He looked at me and said solemnly “Yes, this is truly the hardest part.” Thankful for his understanding, I asked him “when this stage will end?” seeking his sage advice.
He looked at me directly with his intense, blue eyes and he said bluntly” “twenty years.” I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. “Forget it now, leave it and after they get married and have kids they’ll come back but not until then.” After that, he left quickly.
I automatically moved my cart to the fruit and vegetable section and stopped abruptly between the bananas and nectarines and all I wanted to do was cry. The last week had been a difficult one, a confusing one for me and this was the culmination that I didn’t want to hear but needed to hear. Rationally of course, I knew this and was proud of my independent children but emotionally I felt something was amiss. The son with whom I communicate with a glance or one word was acting strangely, apparently, he felt the same way about me. Neither one of us was direct.
I thought I should get an Academy Award for Best Actress, encouraging him to have fun on new adventures, understanding totally why he would stay up at school for the entire week of his break. Apparently I fooled myself but not him. He saw through me before I SAW myself yet I could also read him, he felt a little guilty as well.
What we have learned: Communicate Directly even if it feels hard to do. Do it sooner than later. Me and mini-me know each other so well, but this time, he knew me better than I knew myself. My son communicated with his dad, his dad knowing things but not telling me, he WAS involved even though he didn’t want to be and he refused to play mediator….needless to say, It got messy.
I really do need a job and to get out of the house more. There will be major changes in our lives but they are not here yet. We need to sit tight where we are and I am not known for my patience. Any type of separation for an emotional doll like me feels like someone just lashed out and slapped me in the face repeatedly. So this piece is my own personal time capsule. All my life my goal was to be a mom and raise two wonderful young people and I know I succeeded. Now it’s time for me to do new things, walk away slowly, knowing I did a great job. I’m smiling now, things make much more sense and I’m the one looking back and leaving, it’s so much easier than being left. Let’s take it up again, in twenty years.