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Mar 14

A three legged stool

This is me.

Jessie had a busy weekend. Which, of course, happens. And I’m grateful it does. I’m thrilled that she’s happy and focused and busy and living her best life. But it meant that I went two and a half days with no contact whatsoever from her.

I was busy myself, I had things going on, so it wasn’t like I was sitting at home, lost and missing her. I was running around, cleaning, grocery shopping, reading, spending time with Marc, the other two kids, my mother, walking the dog. Lilli and Sarah came over, I had STUFF.

I wasn’t at all unhappy. And I wasn’t worried about her, I knew she was away at a mock trial competition, and busy, busy, busy. But I felt just… off. It was there, in the back of my brain, that I was missing something critical. I felt off balance. I finally made the connection, after she called me on Monday morning. It’s like a three legged stool and I was just missing one.

There was this sense of being a little bit lost. Not entirely, but things were not right when I wasn’t in contact with her. I’m not sure what pushed it over – I think it was the second day that was too much. It was probably also that I knew it was going to be an emotionally intense time, so I was worried about her. But when she called on Monday morning, suddenly everything kind of fell back into place and I felt – like me again.

It’s interesting to me, because there’s this process you go through as your kids grow up. For so long, you are the center of their world, and they’re the center of yours. Then as they grow up – you just aren’t anymore. They’re still occupying this huge space in your life, and you’re pushed slowly to the periphery of theirs. It’s exactly what’s supposed to happen, it feels healthy and normal and I’m never not grateful that she’s doing so well. It’s on me to figure out how to feel normal when I don’t talk to her.

I know I’ll face this – I am facing it – with all three of the kids. It’s not unique to Jessie. And both Sam and Julie have different challenges. With Sam, I’ve been SO intimately involved in his education and adjustment, figuring out how to step out of that gently is really, really tricky. And Julie – because she’s my last, she’s my constant companion and buddy – I have to be really careful not to put too much weight on her. It’s not their job to entertain me, or take care of me.

But the transition from being Mama to being the mom of adult children is HARD. Grateful to be doing it, always aware that not all moms get to be where I am, but I honestly found it much easier to be the mom of babies and toddlers. Tweens, teens and adults is so much harder.

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