After a Blogher conference, I always leave feeling inspired to do more, but so exhausted that I cannot figure out how to begin. Which direction to take? What to focus on? There is so much, and I feel so overwhelmed, that I find myself stuttering in perpetual pause.
This year, a new element has added another layer to my distressing lack of drive. Justin, my eldest child, will be a freshman in high school in just a few weeks. It's finally hitting me. Not only his age and all that this grade entails, but also that he will be returning to public school after 4 1/2 years of homeschooling. 4 1/2 years of having no government interference in his education and suddenly, I must sign papers that state that they are in control of my child. I find myself unable to drive these final papers to the high school. Though the day draws closer and closer, the paperwork remains in the folder.
I feel stuck in this feeling. Not so much the "How time flies! Woe is me!" feeling as much as knowing, without a doubt, that these next 4 years with him will be swift and stressful. Just as I looked at his newborn face and burst into tears over the knowledge that he would one day leave us, I look at his nearly manly face and see that this day is nearly here... and I cry again.
Well-meaning people keep telling me to chill out and get over it. And I will. It will happen. Life has a way of allowing us to adjust to its constant changes. But I must kindly ask for everyone to stop trying to "fix" the way I feel. I feel the way I feel and it's normal and I will get past it. The best way for me to work through my feelings is to write them down. You do not have to listen to me spill my heart; But I do have a need to let it OUT.
I have had the pleasure (and torture) of more face-time with my first teen in the past two years than most people will enjoy (and hate) with their children in their entire stints as teenagers. I actually LIKE being with him (most of the time) and he's a pretty good kid. He's funny and mature and fairly responsible. Knowing that he will soon be gone from our house for 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week, is killing me. It's worse than the first day of kindergarten, to be honest. I've already DONE the first day of Kindergarten! I shouldn't have to bawl through sending him away AGAIN.
Ah, first world problems, eh? To be sad that my child will receive a public education in a country with fairly decent laws and educational standards. We do not have to walk to pull water from a dirty well. Every physical need we have (and most of our desires) are met. My 14 year old is in no danger of being kidnapped by rebel armies and being brainwashed into murdering others. I fully understand that the level of my sadness is nothing, NOTHING compared to that of the suffering in millions upon millions of other mothers' hearts around the world...
But it still aches. It aches because I love this man-boy who still calls me "Mommy" in the deepest baritone imaginable. It aches because that is what a mother's heart does; they ache for our babies.
So even though this is a common occurrence every year across America, it is still a new one for my family. I am not asking for sympathy or even compassion.
But a little Grace would be nice.
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