I was talking to my mum at dinner the other night, it was my eldest son’s 18th dinner. We were talking about how when you have your children you never really think about when they get to this age, it seems so far into the future that it’s too hard to think of I guess. I’m well and truly in that future right now. I’ve had two of my children move out of home this year….leave the nest so to speak.
I’ve raised my two eldest on my own, a feat that I wouldn’t wish on any human being, and one that I don’t think people truly understand until they are in that moment of reality. I’ve been incredibly lucky that although I was a single parent, I raised them within a strong community of family, close friends and their school environment. I encouraged them to think for themselves, to speak out against the norm and to not be afraid to be different. I exposed them to much that perhaps their peers weren’t which came from my strong social work background and my feminist thinking.
As a mother, I had a million dreams for my children, and I worried constantly about how my parenting of them would impact them as adults. I didn’t have anyone to bounce those thoughts off of, so I went with my gut instinct on many decisions, all the while wondering if those decisions would come back to haunt me at sometime in the future.
As my peers see their children out of home, or off to uni or into stable apprenticeships and employment. As they have weekends away, or now make travel plans, or go out to dinner and the movies more often. As they find a new way of being as parents with no children at home, I too am finding a new way of being all while I toilet train my two year old and settle our little fellow into prep!!! As I sat at parade the other day I text one of my girlfriends whose children have been life long friends of my eldest two…it read “guess where I am – parade” !!!! She later told me when she read it all she could do was have horrifying thoughts of times gone by!!
As funny as it sometimes is that I find myself in this unusual, but not uncommon space, I do believe I am at one of the most fulfilling times of my life. I’m so incredibly proud of my two eldest children. They are finding their way in life according to their own beliefs, morals and decision making processes, all of which I taught them to do and spent millions of hours agonising over. There is a feeling of success that comes with seeing them happy and well adjusted.
The journey now for me, is to sit back and guide where need be and to learn how to accept them as independent individuals…..to let go. Letting go is something that has taken me by surprise, but in letting them go, I am now watching them blossom. As I now sit back and breath for a little while until I start all over again with the two little ones, I look back and think wow……where did all of that time go, it’s gone by in a complete flash. Life can bring us so much and how we decide to look at the good, the sorrowful and the more difficult times is how we ultimately create our own journeys and how we shape ourselves as human beings. In all of that complete flash that has just gone by, I truly wouldn’t want things to be any different because that journey has made the three of us who we are today, and that my friends, has been a significant and true blessing ~xx~