Friday, August 10, 2007

Its just Bravado

Quick Note: I added a picture of Snitch
in case you are interested.
Now for today's Blog:

I have six children, five of whom are happily married. My sixth child, a son, just returned from a Church Mission in Taiwan. He told his older sister that even though she had passed on the mantle of "President Of the Single's Club For Our Family" onto him by getting married two years ago, that he didn't intend on keeping that "Office" for very long.
He stayed home for the summer to earn a bit of money before he starts school on the 22nd of August. Not too far off. He has also met a very cute young girl, and they really like each other. Trying hard not to interfere, I have watched with interest, preparing myself for yet another wedding in the future. Whether it is this girl, or someone else, I know that next step is inevitable. His Mission President advised him as he left his mission to "go home, and unlock your heart and get married."
I am happy for him. I have been happy for every child who has found their "split-apart" (from the movie, The Butcher's Wife) and married their best friend, because frankly, that is when my life began. No offense to my parents who were wonderful parents, but life, happiness, and joy all began with the start of my own family, and I hope and expect that with my children as well.
It has been so fun to have him home, and we have enjoyed hearing the guitar come to life again. We have watched him apply for school, sign up for classes, apply for grants and financial aid. We have watched while he applied for and got a job, which starts Monday. We have watched while he cautiously courted this very darling girl. We have enjoyed listening to tidbits from his mission. Because it was so late in the summer when he got home and lack of summer jobs, we hired him to paint our house and shed. We have watched as he jumped into this job with a plan and vigor. To see the self discipline he has achieved is amazing, as he goes out every day and works hard from morning to evening, stopping for breaks and lunch. We have watched with awe as he has paid careful attention to detail, scraping old paint off the window panes, applying masking tape, and making it all perfect. We have watched with awe as he has carefully budgeted his money. All of these things are beautiful to watch. The boy who left two years ago has returned as a young man. Along with the awesome person he already is, he has acquired so many more wonderful traits and habits. He is amazing.
It has been so sweet to have him home again, but I have been preparing myself for the empty nest again. Even though I know what having an empty nest is like, I Know I will miss him again. But I have told each child how much they will love it when they get married and start a life of their own. I have told my friends how much fun it is to have an empty nest as well. In most ways it is wonderful. I have loved the renewed friendship with my husband. We love our time together, but it was very easy to adjust to having a child back in the house.
I have been telling people how excited I am for him to be able to start school and start his life on his own.
But tonight, he had a serious talk with his dad. He informed him, not really informed, but realized that when he moved away from home this time, that he may not ever move back. It is really a no-brainer. It happened with all the other children once they left for college. They are gone. Maybe some of their stuff still stays in their bedrooms, but they won't be back to live here again. But it suddenly struck me, as my husband was relating this conversation, of the reality of the whole situation, and I got a huge lump in my throat, and my eyes began to leak. Why is that?
Frankly, I was startled and a bit annoyed by the tears. I have been through this with every child, and I thought I had gotten past that. Upon further analysis, I realized that up until that moment it had been All About Him, suddenly it was selfishly All About Me. I have been able, to put myself in his shoes and be thrilled for this new chapter in his life, about to unfold. But with the finality of the whole statement, just made me cry.
So when you hear me make blanket statements about, "Yeah, he is headed off to school. He has met this cute girl. . . I am happy for him. . ."
I think really this is just bravado coming from me. Inside, once again, this mother's heart is mourning the loss of a baby. Don't get me wrong, he is not a baby, I just miss those little children who used to run around.
But I would Never have it any other way.
A long time ago when S1 left home to go to college, and the rest, S2,D1,D2,D3, & S3 were lining up getting ready to follow, my husband reminded me that this is what we raised them up to do: Grow up, acquire skills for the life ahead of them. Get married, have children, get schooling, jobs, and responsibilities. He reminded me of the alternative, the mental picture of which has stuck in my mind as a frightening image: "Imagine if they didn't leave home. Would you want a 30 year-old adult male sitting on your couch, eating your food and watching Jerry Springer all day in his underwear?"
I thought I was handling this all very well, but I think that in reality, I am trying to convince myself that I am.


Margaret said...

Thanks for stopping by, any friend of Angela's is a friend of mine! I can only imagine the bitter sweet feelings you must be having. I have no childern of my own (just two newly acquired steps). You desscribe the combination of sadness and pride quite well.

By the way, thanks for the reminder about the movie "The Butcher's Wife--I loved that one!

Kay Dennison said...

It's hard to let them go but harder to have them hang around. I raised the Dynamic Duo to be happy, successful, and independent and they are. If I had to do it over again, I'd do the same and tell that they also had to call mom every two weeks! lol

Sailor said...

Hi Dear Friend,
A very nice post, with both the bitter and the sweet. As for how you are handling this change, I think pretty well. It isn't like dark or light - there is lots of room for mixed feelings, as well there should be. It is so nice to see him every day, and to hear the guitar. But his smile is brightest when he sees that girl.

Love you Dear One.

Katie said...

:) i'm sorry you are lonely. i'm sure that it feels that way. but i know that your life is full and you work hard at your choir and sewing! but we all love you and appreciate what you do for us. :) love, kt

RisibleGirl said...

I had to let mine go twice. First they moved out- but got apartments about 10 minutes away, so came to visit 4-6x a week. I was sad that they weren't under my roof all the time, but still saw a lot of them.

Then when I married BER, I moved 50 miles away.

That just darn near killed me. Still does. But we do see them at least once a month.

Le sigh....


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