Many years back I began writing my blog. It wasn’t for notoriety. It was to put all of my thoughts and feelings on paper. I am a thinker, and when you’re a thinker sometimes all of the thoughts become too much. Writing has always been my way of getting those thoughts out, remembering how I dealt with my emotions, and also how I reacted to things. I have always journaled, but this new venture was for me, totally and completely for me. I have said many times that I don’t care if anyone reads it. It is my personal journey through life, stress, parenting, marriage, loss, and ultimately some really fun design projects that led me to a new career path. It is my way of expressing myself.
But then this really amazing thing happened. Friends and family did read it, and they shared it. When I shared parenting blogs like Letting Go and Letting Grow, Embracing the Chaos, Someone is missing at my dinner table: The Art of Letting Go, Well Not Really…., and several others. Friends and family told me how much what I shared helped them keep perspective and know they weren’t alone.
When I wrote The Secret That Kills… it was heartbreaking, yet amazing to learn that so many I knew had similar struggles and they were so glad that I was speaking out when the subject has always been treated as taboo. I am still often told by certain family that I should keep my mouth shut about this topic, but I say go fuck yourself. Talking saves people’s lives.
I love that my design projects and blogs for the Better Homes and Gardens One Room Challenge ended up being featured on their website and were shared in a national online publication. I mean who thought little old me could have that awesomeness happen. The One Room Challenge™ Fall 2019 Glamorous Bedroom Reveal, One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Boho Chic Screened Porch-The Big Reveal
But why now am I revisiting it all? Why am I blabbering on at this moment? Because my life is busy. It’s so busy right now that I haven’t had much time to write, and there are days that I miss it so darn much. There are days when my mind gets the best of me, and I am overwhelmed. When this happens, I have to find time to write it out of me.
Today is a big day in the life of my family. Jack, our oldest, has left the nest, and I mean truly left. I don’t know how to put my feelings into words, but in an effort to try and stop the crying I am taking to my keyboard to let my thoughts pour out.
He was a perfect baby. Chubby, happy, healthy, and even when he was little, he was funny. He made us laugh all the time. He continued to amaze us he grew up. He has always been driven and goal oriented, and did I mention funny! Oh wait, yes I did! Because the kid is freaking hysterical. He has always been our comic relief. And now here we are. He has graduated college with an engineering degree. He is also active in the United States Navy, and my heart is so full it could burst. But the reality is, he is now going to be starting his own journey and creating his own path. I am so proud and excited for him, it’s immense, but my heart hurts. There is an ache that has swelled up from the pit of my stomach that is deeper than anything that I have ever experienced. I want to drink vodka, and eat all the carbs! I may even take up smoking. ( Just kidding, babe!) I want to punch things, and maybe kick something. I am seriously pissed off. And I am not pissed off because he is doing all of these incredible things. I am pissed off because it went too fast. It’s not right and it’s not fair. Why must time be such a thief? Why must we get so busy that we forget to notice what is happening around us? Where in the actual hell did the last 23 years go? Anyone? Anyone?
I know for me, and Nate as well, we have always hoped that we could raise children that were not afraid to pursue their own dreams. No matter how far away they should move, or how difficult their journey may be, we want them to know that the only way to achieve anything is through incredibly hard work and determination. With these skills they can be or do anything that they want and achieve the life they have always dreamed of.
But the hardest part in giving them the tools they need to take off and be completely independent from us and create their own successful life, is that we have to sacrifice our own hearts. We have to be willing to let them crash and burn and fail over and over again. We have to be willing to feel the heartbreak that happens when they struggle and hurt and know that as much as it kills us inside, we cannot rescue them. We have to love them enough to allow them to learn from each mistake they make so that they can grow. That is our job. And it is not for the faint of heart.
But I ask, what is the outcome? Well, I found out today that the outcome is helping your son and his dad pack up a U-Haul with 23 years of memories, and head out on the open road to the next stop. A stop that only includes us from a far. A stop that he is in charge of, and no one else. A stop where he no longer lives under our roof, sits at our dinner table, or walks in the back door on a whim. A stop that although thrilling for him, breaks our hearts. I know many of you have already been there, and I know we are going to be just fine. But for today, I am giving myself permission to host a pity party for one. I think that the day warrants at least that.
Cheers to all the moms and dads who are on this same journey of change and letting go with us. You rock. And we should have a drink. (Kidding, well not really!) To those who aren’t there yet, cherish each and every day, especially the really trying days. Those are the days that make your kids the strongest and who they are meant to be. Oh, and don’t you dare helicopter over them and pick up the pieces. It will never help them, not ever. They don’t gain strength in their abilities, confidence, or independence when we don’t allow them to struggle, or problem solve. Just look at their face when they figure out how to solve that problem on their own. It’s priceless!! Watch them make remarkably good choices after having dealt with a consequence of their previous action. They are empowered. These trials teach them that they possess all of the tools that they need to succeed without your help. They can get over that hurdle without you. In the end it collectively creates wonderful, strong, independent, and compassionate humans.
Now if you need me, I’ll be curled up in a blanket on my couch with a cup of tea, my dogs, my tear-stained eyes, and some mindless tv until I can get over the hump. Oh, and there may be a strong martini too. Peace and love. XOXO