Monday, August 18, 2008

Freedom?

I have found myself feeling low and reflective the last few days. Thinking about where I am and where I would like to be. The nest is emptying and the excuses for inaction are disappearing.

I am left with a lump in my chest which feels a lot like grief.

This must be freedom then.

From responsibilites and ties.

I have heard people talk about their children leaving home and how traumatic it is…and yeah, yeah, so what…how bad can that be?

I have never been a particularly “hands on” Mum, poking her nose into every aspect of my children’s development.
I like to think of myself as more of a “let well enough alone” sort of Mum.

A light touch now and again to guide.
And the occasional bout of ferocious shouting…

I have been lucky. Neither of them have had any real problems. All they needed was space to grow and bloom. And they have.

It has been the most wonderful journey, watching them change from those seeds full of potential to complex characters with fascinating bits of me and him woven seamlessly into the new and unexpected.
And that, I realise now, is what I will miss the most.

A ringside seat.

To watch the greatest show on earth.

A new person growing, changing, fulfilling their potential, and becoming themselves.

Oh well…I still have the chickens…

24 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

The chickens can't possibly be as interesting.

I'm still many years (about 8 or 9) away from the first fledgling flying away from our nest. I'm already preparing for the day, though, and putting in place mechanisms for me to continue my own growth and development. Instead of helping these little people to grow, I'll be focusing on rounding out my own self after they go....

...at least, that's my plan. I may find the reality to be quite different, though...

jacqui said...

My youngest daughter is about to fledged this Thursday. It not the first time, as she left for college this time last year but even then I knew she would be fully fledged by the following year. There will be tears from her, me and my husband but having gone through it with my eldest daughter 5 yrs ago, although I know its the end of era, its also the beginning of another exciting, frustrating, hold hands up in despair, heart wrenching era.

So my youngest and eldest daughters have left, that just leaves the middle one, a son. He knows what side is butter is on, so he is a part time lodger, living 75% of the time with his current girlfriend and the rest with us. When he flees the nest is any one's guess. He says this January, I believe it when I see it.

To be Mrs Chilli, nothing you do, prepares you for this time in life,that emptiness will still rear its ugly head regardless of how busy you have made your life.

Frankofile said...

The job is far from over, as jacqui writes.
Different, but not done yet. And I'm with mrs.chili too - it helps if they know you've got your own life.

And anyway, we're still in our prime! What scares me is old age and being dependent on the crumbs of joy from their tables..

Rosie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie said...

Mrs Chili -Yes, life goes on and is full and busy. I am just surprised by how much I miss him I suppose.
Jacqui- hello and thank you for your contribution. I thought I was prepared but it crept up on me..
I'm sure the job of long distance student carer will be even more interesting!
Frankofile. Yes, it is a milestone, and a sign pointing the way to old age...another scary thought. I refuse to be dependant on crumbs of joy from their table, but I wont turn my nose up at them either! I intend to continue my little artistic obsessions and become a colourful granny... eventually

Zhoen said...

Any change in direction is acceleration, worthy of grief. Joy will fill in soon.

tristan said...

ain't no one here but us chickens ...

Anonymous said...

I bawled my eyes out in the cinema today. If you ever have a chance: "Kirschblüten Hanami" by Doris Dorrie.
And bawling my eyes out always brings me back in touch with my inside. So in moods like yours, Rosie, watch a touching movie, read or think of something that touches you to bring you back round to yourself.
"chicken soup for the mother soul" always does the trick by way of books.
My thoughts in sympathy...
Angela (forgot password)

Mike said...

My son leaves for college in 6 days or so and that is our last one. I think that once my wife and I get the house cleaned from his habitual piggyness, we might then get a little sentimental about his leaving.

herhimnbryn said...

But they will always come back:)

Mrs. G. said...

Yes, my girl leaves in two weeks. I have had some good cries in the tub. I feel your lump and send love and good cheer to you. Now, I need to go see about getting some chickens.

Dick said...

I remember the lump from the departure of my first-time-around kids nearly 20 years ago. It is a difficult time, but so much more so for those who live their lives through their kids. Once fledged, offspring from such families tend to maintain distance. Clearly not likely to be the case in your situation. I've enjoyed the loving but unsentimental accounts of your kids.

Rosie said...

zhoen- I shall try and harness my momentum
Tristan - nice you could fly by.
Angela - I love the idea of chicken soup for the mother soul. I'm not sure the chickens will be so keen.
Mike- it is good of him to have made it easier for you
herhimnbryn - I have noticed a boomerang effect directly related to how much money he has...
Mrs G - yes I would recommend the consoling effect of chickens...and they make good soup.
Dick - I dont mind a bit of distance: I am waiting for one of them to move to London or Paris so I can go and stay for long periods!

Jean said...

Like Dick, I particularly enjoy the loving but teasing accounts of your kids and always think what a nice relationship you must have. Yes, such relationships tend to flourish, with the usual ups and downs.

Exciting times, a push to do some things you've long considered but not done - painful, but positive.

xx

Margaret Cloud said...

It is nice to know you are satisfied in how they turned out and know they will make good decisions, just stopping by to say Hi.

hexe said...

No change is easy. No words of advice, but take some comfort in the fact that your children have become people you actually like.

Lucy said...

My sister and bro-i-l in NZ are the most laid back parents imagineable, with plenty of their own interests, and their eldest daughter was a real pain no-one could wait to see the back of, but they still said it was shockingly painful, like a bereavement.

Never mind, you've always got Porridge!

amy said...

I got so choked up reading this, Rosie. It was two years ago I took my daughter to college, and last summer that i moved her into her own apartment. We talk a lot on the phone but she seems so far away...I liked what frankofile said, the job now is different but far from over! And how wonderful when our kids start asking how we're doing instead of just the other way around.

Michele said...

Oh, wow... I can really relate. You brought up something I didn't realize until you said it - that we (my one and only daughter just left for college six days ago) are now not able to watch them grow and change as before.

You're right. Until now, I have been able to witness her big life changes - walking, talking, new teeth, school field trips, pre-teen friend drama, first job, driving... now I will just have to hear all her big news.

And I just can't get used to how emtpy and quiet my house is now. Maybe I should get some chickens, too.

Rosie said...

Lucy - you kind of get used to them under your feet...
Amy - I do get asked how I am sometimes...
Michele - Chickens help with just about any emotional disturance, especially when it concerns nests

meggie said...

Rosie, what a brilliant post.
I especially agree with the occasional bout of ferocious shouting. We used to refer to these as 'steaming love dances'.

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