“I feel like I put myself in a box on a shelf for 16 years and now I’ve just taken it down and opened it again.” I may be the writer but my husband said it perfectly. I’d been having this odd feeling similar to when I went away to college or moved in to my own apartment the first time. This feeling of expansiveness, as if anything is possible.
Lately many mornings when I run, I’m conscious of an overwhelming feeling of transition. I thought it wouldn’t happen until my last kid left for college. This year my youngest entered sixth grade. He doesn’t need my assistance getting ready for school so my mornings are no longer consumed by finding shoes, tying laces, packing lunches or buttering anyone’s toast but my own.
Other than chauffeuring, laundry, and a few meal services, my kids operate very much in their own worlds now. My oldest is on the brink of getting his driver’s license, so I will be out of one of those jobs very soon. I try to pull together dinner a few times a week, but with practice, rehearsals, meetings, and games, my kids can’t always make it. They are busy. I’ve become more of a spectator than a player in their lives. Sure, they still need to be reminded to do their chores (now much more than when they were younger and more compliant), but they rarely need my help with homework, hobbies, or their social lives. They got it, Mom. Thanks for the offer. It is usually best if I just stay quiet.