Unfortunately, as our children grow towards adulthood, life starts handing them more complex challenges. Gone are the days of kindergarten-fixes which were mostly comprised of a few snuggles and a chocolate chip cookie.
It isn’t all bad.
The best part is watching our children’s personalities solidify into more of who-they-are. They get to start defining more what matters to them.
Weirdly, that doesn’t always align with what mom and dad deem important.
As I continue to let my boys go off into the world to discover what is most true for them, I must go and do the same for myself.
Mothers and caregivers tend to take a giant pause in their life when it comes to raising a family. This pause becomes so second-nature, we often don’t realize when it’s time to hit the reset button.
We are not meant to figure everything out in one day.
In fact, I believe we never figure everything out completely.
Life moves forward for a reason. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t.
Either way it’s moving.
We can either join in or sit back. Maybe both?
Even if we don’t make every right turn, the fact that we are on the journey is bound to lead us somewhere wonderful.
Especially if where we’ve been has already shown us such great love.
It was small. Almost microscopic in relation to all the other LEGO components.
It really shouldn’t have mattered, but, oh, did it make my blood boil.
To keep things completely honest, this tiny LEGO part that I am referring to belonged to a gigantic guilt-induced, we-are-moving-you-away-from-family-and-friends LEGO set Mad Dog and I had purchased for T.Puzzle.
It’s a rollercoaster.
The LEGO set, not my emotional well-being.
Both are a rollercoaster.
Look out, world!
To get back to the tiny part that was missing, let me explain why I was ready to lose my mind.
As you know, moving = chaos. There are boxes. There are boxes. Let me repeat, there are boxes.
And they are everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.
And the stuff! It’s everywhere yet you cannot find what you need to save your life.
So, as T.Puzzle began construction on his rollercoaster, I explicitly said to him:
“Please put these tiny, teeny, very-small-indeed rubber bands SOMEWHERE THAT YOU WON’T LOSE THEM.”
He lost them and with them, my last remaining shred of sanity.
Even as I was disproportionately overreacting to the loss of these rubber bands, I allowed myself a freak out.
I even said out loud, “I realize my reaction does not match what is happening, but, it can’t be helped.”
What added to the comedy (tragedy?), is that all three of my boys kept throwing each other under the bus. Lots of accusations about what had happened to the lost items were bandied about.
Guess how much personal accountability was offered?
Eventually, after some CSI-level maneuverings, the missing pieces materialized.
Mad Dog had ‘stored’ them in our kitchen garbage can.
This summer has me so overwhelmed with change that I feel like part of me has shut down to cope. I am operating more in logic and less in feeling.
The feelings will have to come later.
Before we knew we were moving to a new state, we signed Full Speed up for a three-week academic class held on a college campus. Even then, while I was thrilled for him to have this unique opportunity, I was not particularly happy about him being away for three weeks. Throw some travel and our family changing addresses into the mix and I am surprised I am still standing.
The most unsettling part of this process with Full Speed was how extremely collegiate it all felt. We had to make sure he had linens and towels. He also needed shower shoes and a caddy for supplies to be used in the dorm showers.
Once we arrived at his dorm, it continued to take on a surreal quality. A feeling of yes, he is only thirteen, and yes, he will return home, but also a feeling of what our future without Full Speed may look like.
It’s not great, folks. Not great at all.
The positive is we obviously love our kid and should be grateful that we are missing him.
It would be rather telling if we broke out the bubbly and celebrated his departure with a joyful clink of glasses. There was no toasting. Only a sinking sensation that Full Speed is well on his way to carving out his own life.
I cannot tell you the willpower it took to not cry when we left him at his dorm. I held it together. I don’t know how, but I did.
My goal is to stay focused on the present moment and be mindful of what will feel supportive to him in terms of how much I communicate with him.
Unfortunately, him live-streaming his day to my phone is not an option.
Weird, I know.
Instead, I sense he is consumed by new routines, meeting new people and mastering the intensive curriculum ahead.
Texting his mom should not be a priority.
I get it.
I don’t have to like it, but I get it.
I have always known that my children have never really been mine. The most ‘ownership’ I can claim over them has maybe been the nine months I carried them. Once they arrived in the world it has been my one of my greatest honors to walk along beside them as I do my best to let them go.
Now, more so than ever before, it is time for Full Speed to walk ahead alone.
I love you, Full Speed. I am so proud to be your mom.
May this opportunity open your eyes to the infinite possibilities of life.
And remember, I am only a phone call away.
You’ve got this.
For the record, I can neither confirm or deny if T.Puzzle is missing Full Speed.
Ok, I lied.
I can confirm he totally does though he would never say it out loud.
And, I thank my lucky stars to have this one-on-one time with him.