This post is a response to the writing prompt “What’s A Challenge You Are Facing?” You can read additional posts by my fellow bloggers at Flotsam of the Mind .
My youngest child started Kindergarten this week and my mind is in a really weird place right now. The last time that I seriously thought about the reality of my kids progressing through school, moving out and leaving Big Poppa and I as empty-nesters was about 12 years ago. It was a reality that I didn’t like then and I immediately set out to stop it from happening. I decided that I should have another baby. I told Big Poppa of my desire and he surprisingly agreed to go along. I was well aware that I was in my late thirties and he in his mid-forties yet, I was just not ready to not be a hands – on – mom. Having children at home gave me purpose, they brought life to my house and gave me a type of joy that I couldn’t find anywhere else. No, I wasn’t ready for all of that to end.
Fast forward eight years and two babies and I am now entering my late forties, I have elementary, as well as, college students and life is never, ever dull. I am satisfied. However, as I watched my two girls walk ahead of me to school this past Monday morning, I realized that this really is the beginning of the end of this season of my life. I know that it’s only Kindergarten but, remember, I’ve been down this road before and they are never really all yours anymore once they start school. This time, I can’t make the decision to have more babies and truthfully, I really don’t want to (believe me, that was music to my husband’s ears). I’m all at once sad, yet, strangely curious about what’s coming next for me.
Everyone’s life goes through a change of seasons: the glorious Springtime of our youth, the bountiful harvest of Summer, beautiful transition of Fall and the peaceful stillness of Winter. I am standing at the threshold of Fall and feeling a little trepidation of walking in. Not sure why I’m so hesitant since Fall has always been my favorite season of the year. In fact, the absence of a real fall is probably the main reason that I don’t like living in South Texas. I love the vibrant colors of the leaves and the crunching under foot as you walk down the street. The smell of the cool air immediately makes me think of everything fun and comforting: football, apple cider, mac and cheese, Halloween, Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday)…all those things that I love. So why then am I struggling with this impending change in my life?
I’m getting older. I’m sure that’s one reason why I’m having such a hard time with it. I knew a man once who, on his 50th birthday, noted that it was a little sobering to think that he had already lived longer than he is probably going to live. That certainly put things in perspective. Yet, I’m not sad or even mildly upset about turning 47. In fact, and I have said this before, for whatever reason I think 47 sounds really sexy. Forty-seven sounds confident! Forty-seven sounds strong! Forty-seven sounds exciting! So, it’s not my actual age that’s bothering me, it’s more likely that it’s time for me to embark on something new that doesn’t have anything to do with my kids or my husband. Something that’s all mine.
I don’t really like to do “new” things by myself. In fact, doing new things always makes me nervous in general. One of my fellow bloggers recently wrote about her first time sky-diving and the entire time that I was reading it I kept thinking “Wow! She is soooo cool!” I will never be that cool. Really. I’m never going to get on a plane to go skydiving. I’m okay with that for the most part, except I want whatever it took for her to get into that plane in the first place and not jump off right before they closed the doors for take off. You see, I really would prefer to stay in my very comfortable life the way it is, with the covers over my head, where it’s safe. I know how to be a wife and a mother. I know what everyday brings me for the most part and I know what I’m doing. It’s stepping out from behind my “security blanket” that I’m struggling with. As I approach this change of seasons in my life, I’m struggling with finding my own identity. Am I the only one?