Thursday, May 17, 2018

The First Last

Well, hello old friend!  It's been awhile!  The last time I was here was four years ago, JH was thirteen, and gangly and goofy and flighty.  He hadn't shaved yet, hadn't driven a car, and homework didn't keep him up nearly as late.  Now he drives, has a job, goes to school, is a drummer in a band, and for the love of all things holy take flight lessons.  We are getting ready to go on some college trips this summer.  When I started at my job, he was six.  Now,  I still work with elementary aged kids, and while I can remember him being at that stage, it was a long time ago.  I'm grateful for this blog because he was precious to me and I wrote about allllll of it.  When he became a teen, (and even before, going through puberty) I slowed way down on the blog because I wanted to make sure that I was not divulging too much private stuff.  I realized I was skating close to an edge - I didn't want to exploit our relationship, and I didn't want to write about anything that might embarrass him.  I also wanted to keep it for myself.  To hang on to it, and keep it precious to me.

So why the hell start up again?  Here's my reason - I have been having huge anxiety about him graduating from high school and going to college.  This in addition to living in Trump's America has begun to give me heart palpitations, and I'm realizing that maybe it's time to write about that, and one more thing....

I went back and read some of my old posts, and realized how much gratitude I had for all of it, how much beauty I saw and celebrated, and honestly I want to focus on that again.  This part of my life is very different.  I am very different.  I am older, not "mature" older, but OLDER older.  Heavier, greyer, busier... but also wiser, and I see myself fairly clearly.  Skin tags and all.  I have a lot of faults.  I will always try to be better, but I don't have any misconceptions that I will actually BE better.  But it's all in the trying.  Maybe by writing about it, by saying it out loud, it will ease my anxious mama heart and help me actually lift my face to the sun, instead of crab walking sideways, pinched and worried, through this stage of life.

At work we talk about "growth mindset" and one of the things we talk about a LOT is there is no "I can't".  Still, one of the things I struggle with the most is letting go.  Letting go.  It is the one thing in my life that comes close to "I can't".  It is so, so, so much harder than I ever imagined.

Before I conceived of conceiving, I naively thought that I would be a cool mom.  I would be in the arts, I would have my own life, I would be a pal, all of my child's friends would think I was the coolest.  Now I am fairly certain that all his friends think that the only thing separating me from being a helicopter parent is the lack of a rotor on my head.  When JH was about five, we went to Paris.  We were taking the Metro, and he was looking for the oncoming train and he stepped over that white line, the one that basically tells people STOP OR YOU MIGHT DIE.  He was talking to his dad, and I reached out and grabbed him with my hand, but it wasn't my hand that felt it - it was my womb.  It was like it dropped out between my legs, flopped around on the ground until it found him, sucked him back across that line and then hopped back up inside me.  I am going through a version of this now, not as visceral, but every bit as aching and emotional and vulnerable and out of fucking control.  Every time he heads out the door, I say "drive safe!" but my brain says "I am not going to let you relax until he is back through the door".  Now, just imagine that feeling, and add FLYING to the mix.  As in, HE is flying.  An airplane.  Yes, it's the absolute coolest, and after, hearing him talk about it (he is frighteningly knowledgeable) delights me from head to toe, but when he heads out for a lesson?  I want to throw myself around his ankles and not let go. "Dude, why are you dragging your mom around the tarmac for flight check?" "Sorry.  She just can't let go.  You'll get used to it.  I have.  Her sobbing has gotten a lot quieter."

So that's why I'm writing.  Because I CAN'T throw myself around his ankles.  I HAVE to let go.  And I have to find some of myself without him - to allow myself my mama pride, but also to find some of that badass chick I used to be before him.

Yeah, right.

"Hey, badass chick!  Why is your heart and your uterus flopping around on the ground like that?"

Thanks for reading while I shout out into the void.

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