Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
Cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too. Landslide - Stevie Nicks
The week before my “baby” left for college, a new and disarming vertigo set in. The day would be going along normally, and then I would feel the earth shifting and I kept feeling as though I were sliding. I knew enough to expect a great sadness as I watched another child leave for college and I had been really staring that down, but I had not addressed the issue of all three now being gone.
I woke up on the Sunday before she was to leave in pure panic- what would I do with my time, what would define me, what kind of social life would I have apart from being a mom? C was leaving that day right after lunch and when he said the blessing at lunch I wanted to say, “Stop talking so fast. Go slower. Go very very slowly.” Sliding. S had left, but I knew she would be back on Tuesday so I had that to hold on to. And then we did it- we took that baby and all of her stuff and made her new bed and pulled away. S, having made the ride home with me the first year I took C to school knew what to expect and let me just wail and sob all the way home. DH was flat on his back on the bed, lonely as could be for his baby. I laid down flat too, thinking that the shifting feeling would subside.
And it has, for the most part. Other family responsibilities and work upon work have kept me more than occupied and in some ways relieved not to have to figure out how to juggle meals and carpools in the mix. But today when I dropped K off after her first weekend visit, there was this groaning in the earth and this sliding.
I know for sure that we will survive this, that a day is coming when in fact I will actually start to enjoy it. Probably the week before they all come home for the summer…