Sunday, August 11, 2013
Both Sides Now
Today I'm linking up with Kathy's new weekly Song-ography prompt, which is such a genius idea...her song title today is "Both Sides Now", by Joni Mitchell. And boy, did her post resonate with me...she talks about motherhood and being on both sides of it now that her kids are mostly grown up. This subject matter coincided with my state of mind in a huge way because just yesterday we moved our only child into her first ever apartment.
When we gave her a final hug yesterday afternoon and walked out the door, I was stunned by my emotional response because I thought I had already dealt with this whole "empty nest" thing her freshman year. But this year is different...we moved all of the furniture out of her bedroom and took it to her apartment...her room is empty now. Her part-time job is near school, and she won't get home very often on weekends anymore because she'll be working. This is TRULY the empty nest experience, and I didn't see it coming. I thought I'd already checked it off my life list!!
As a lifetime worrier, I've become very proficient at working out every possible scenario in my head ahead of time to prepare myself for any given situation. I'm really stumped as to why my brain missed this...did it have a temporary glitch that made me miss this huge realization in advance?! All I know is, I'm caught completely off guard. Our house feels empty and my daughter's (lack of) presence can be felt everywhere.
Motherhood is both the most joyful thing I've ever experienced and also the most brutal. They don't tell you about the heartache you'll feel when it comes time to cut those final strings and let your child walk away - it's not in the rule book. (Oh wait, there is no rule book!) The picture above is a photo I took of my daughter a few weeks ago at the beach - it seems very symbolic as she walks away from the camera, looking to the vast horizon, the world at her feet.
To end this post on a hopeful note, I do take comfort in knowing this, too, shall pass...I know I'll adjust, and I know I'll be OK. It's what we Moms do. We love our children fiercely, unconditionally...and when the time comes we cut the cord and let them go with the hope that we've passed on the best of ourselves (and not too much of our worst). Today when I feel sad, I keep reminding myself of how happy my daughter is, who she's become...I feel very proud, and the love overflows. Along with a few tears!
Have you dealt with empty nest syndrome? If so, I'm sending you a tight, virtual Mom hug through the computer screen.