I've been silent on this forum and I am short on excuses. Too busy. Instagram. Full time job. Fried. Tired. Everything moves forward. My kids at 26, 23 and 21 are living their best lives or trying to and it brings me a lot of happiness that the setbacks are manageable and mostly good things happen. Hard to ask for more. Time has taken a more precious aspect- things feel fleeting and it's important to savor every moment you can. What remains as I grow older hovers expectantly and I hope for as much as one can.
The mornings in late August ring with crickets and the hint of autumn bring back memories of my kids drinking in the last of vacation and how anticipation mounts for the return to the classroom and the mix of faces familiar and new. The haircuts. The grumbling. The shopping. The scheduling. Regimentation is back. At their current ages, managing their own affairs and needing mostly financial assistance, I now bear witness to these weeks of transition. I remember my own going off to school, I remember the longing for my own children pre-motherhood, to meet at the bus, and today, I observe the parents pushing carts in Staples, clutching lists, and the add-ons attractively packaged to catch their kid's eye as they roam the aisles. The satisfaction I got from meeting their needs.
My life has morphed from parent to working woman and it's a transition I embrace because I had no other good options. The past three years has brought tremendous change and as I write it's likely my days in Sleepy Hollow (24 years and counting) are numbered and a different chapter awaits. Two of my children were conceived in this bedroom and the majority of my family life happened in this house. No wonder it's hard to imagine what it would be like to actually leave.
(and for another take on summer's end click here.)
I did something today of some significance. I bought my new beau (well, he's really an old beau with whom I have reconnected finding ourselves single at the same time, but I digress) a tie when I was thrifting at Goodwill. An Italian silk, which if it is to his liking will enhance his blue eyes when he wears it. So I am crossing in to the realm of shopping for a man who is not my ex-husband (but for whom said ex I did pretty extensive purchasing combined with the wifely concerns of making sure the same ex had respectable undershirts and other whatnot-but I digress again).
I am very happy about getting to know this old beau better and just spent a wonderful stretch of days visiting him at his home, 400 miles away. Distance is a factor when it comes to being together and I do not know what lays ahead. I hope he likes this tie and wears it knowing that he means a lot to me. I was in a lonely minefield of a marriage for many years and basking in his kindness and affection is something I appreciate deeply.
I'm seeing someone as of late. We connected in early October and as we have a plan to spend New Year's Eve together, it seems I am dipping my toe in to the world of romantic relationships again.
I thought newborns were terrifying and toddlers exhausting. I thought the days my three offspring each got their driver's license new levels of anxiety were unleashed. That waiting for the acceptance letters to arrive (or not) senior year of high school was a vortex of disquietude. But this, realizing that I might be falling for someone who once upon a time meant the world to me and is somehow back in my life, is the scariest and most exciting thing I've faced in a long time.
Here's hoping that fate is kind to he and I. And wishing the same for us all.
How do I convey to anyone how at sea I feel? That I understand the rhythms of life, the hour to slide under the covers, the hour to rise, the excitement of coffee in the morning. The requirement to file tax returns and pay bills on time. The necessity of check ups, and oil changes, and furnace tune ups and gutter cleanings. That weeds should not be allowed to choke the things you planted with care, That you go to the nursery, you pick out plants, you sow seeds. You water them. You notice your children whenever they want or require it, you try to be self reliant at all times. You pay the conscientious tradespeople who come and do all the servicing that you so very require to keep your home safe and sound.
But now with a divorce and children grown, what next?
You work your job- you apply your self the best you can. You think about the enterprise that is the business you work for and strive to help it succeed.
You think about all that was and will no longer be and then your heart chokes with memory and then you get back to whatever task is at hand, grateful that those small beings you once tended have successfully flown the nest.
So what next? What if work isn't the end all be all? What if daydreaming doesn't pay the bills or fill your arms with a loved one to share your life with- preferably male, age appropriate and caring? What then?
No, this last third as it's called. This life post motherhood, post the urgent hunger for success, what next? I am confounded and disoriented as ever. Truly living life one day at a time.