Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vaguely Familiar

Last weekend I couldn't stand Em's room anymore so I suggested we clean. Well. OK. I started cleaning and asked her to join me. As she entered the room, she motioned to the open window, "It's freezing in here."

"Au contraire, my little petri dish. The open window is keeping me alive in this," I said as I swept my fingers over her bookshelf and created a Pigpen-style dust cloud. "Too bad I don't have haz-mat gear."

After she finished rolling her eyes, she started cleaning as well and it dawned on me: I must have gotten the wrong baby at the hospital. Because I actually like it clean, you know, relatively speaking.

So all week I've been thinking of the many ways she and I are different, how weird that is, and how much, frankly, *I've* had to change in raising her. Just saying. She's not having to change, I am. And I wonder if she'll ever know *me*...or just me as Mom.

While I've become a better me--a more patient me, a more selfless me, a more protective but bittersweet me--it always costs to change. As a single mom, I liken this to feeling around a dark room, trying to get my bearings without another important adult there to provide a clear reflection: Ya bump into things--emotions, feelings, dust and dirty socks--and it's up to you how you handle it.

We are entering a strange new time, she and I, where we butt heads as often as holding hands. She's pulling away, wondering who'll she'll become as she grows up. I, too, wonder what I will be as more Me, less Mom.

Any other mothers going thru this? Do tell--

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There's always a decision to be made

There are quite a few things I dislike about being a single mom, but making decisions on my own is definitely at the top of the list (right before taking out the garbage…seriously!)

Since the beginning of this journey…fourteen years ago…decision making has been my weak spot. Especially when it comes to my kids. I sometimes feel as if I am stuck behind a gigantic elephant, wondering what lies ahead…how will my decision affect the path...and will I make the right one? This morning is no different. I awoke at 4:30 a.m. thinking, “I can’t let him do it by himself”.

My son is getting ready to choose colleges and this summer is the summer of soccer ID camps. We have known this for awhile…we just haven’t known what camps. Last night we made some decisions. He will go to at least two different camps, one close by and one a plane ride away. The one a plane ride away starts the day after my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating in Sunriver…the entire family.

So what’s the problem? Josh needs to come back to Portland the day of my parents' anniversary to leave on a flight the next morning. I think I should go with him, get him settled, get him from the airport to the campus…and just be around in case he needs me, needs reassurance that he is awesome, unique, and one heck of a guy. Is that too much? How do I let go at the right time? Does he still need his mom? My gut tells me this is a scary time in his life…exciting but scary. So many I an anchor for him even now?

I have to admit I have allowed myself to get knee deep in the empty nest blues – and he isn’t even gone yet – he still has another year at home. Is my wanting to go about me…or is it about him? Of course, the simple answer is to ask him if he wants me to go with him, then try and read his facial expressions…make the right guess. Is he nervous? Would my going help him? If I do go…what about my mom and dad and their anniversary?

You see, I hate making decisions on my own…

The Christian-thing to do is pray…and I will. But, God doesn’t always answer a mother’s plea as soon as she thinks He should…but it is a start. It gives me a sense of peace that someone bigger than me is in control. Plus, if I lift it up, then maybe all the pieces will fall into place…like maybe his Dad will volunteer to go. Would that be the right solution…should I call him? Should I ask him to go with Josh? Would that make the situation better?

No answers…but I’m at the place that I need to be…in prayer…asking God… hoping …and trusting (fast pulse) that He will provide a glimpse of the road ahead…a tiny sneak preview of the path that unfolds in front of the enormous elephant blocking my view…