I’ve taken a while to write about this because it’s not sassy or snarky. It is painful. And it is the most significant chapter of my current life book. I’ve started and stopped this post many times, and each time, the tears flow.
I’ve been a single mom for 14 years (my son is 17). It has not been easy. He was difficult. I’ve been tired. He got easier. We got better. Through all the ups and downs, it’s been the two of us in our little 1,000 sf house.
Even in his teen years, we shared time together. I was going to West Coast Swing Dance events, and at the age of 13 he started dancing too. He’s really amazing (view demo)… I would have never imagined that he would have loved to dance so much, and that he would show so much natural talent. We traveled; we hung out in hotel rooms and ball rooms. He stayed out of trouble, got good grades and has grown into a funny, smart young adult. I knew I was lucky to hang out with my kid.
But earlier this year, it slowly started to shift. He got a license and a girlfriend. He started flexing his “I’m independent” muscles. Even with the shift, I felt lucky that it had taken so long – and it still wasn’t too bad – although the conflict in our house grew.
And then it changed. He was done with me, and I was totally unprepared. I had this mental list of all the things I still needed to teach him before he left the nest. But he was done. And there was no going back. He still “lives” here, but he is gone a lot.
I blinked, and it was over. It changed that fast.
No more hot chocolate on the porch. No more hanging out at dance events. No more… No more… No more…
I was a mess, overcome with sadness and regrets.
I know in my head that it’s not “really” done – that I will always be his mother, he will always be my child – and most likely he’ll look to me for advice as he moves into his new chapter next year.
But I mourn.
I’m sad that I didn’t teach him how to take better care of himself. I’m sad that there were too many times that I was too tired to play. I’m sad that I didn’t learn to ride a bike sooner. I’m sad that this will be his last Christmas at home.
But through all of this, I started taking better care of myself. Part of it was that I wanted to show him a few things. But a bigger part was that I had to or I was going to be swallowed up by my sadness.
Even though the tears are flowing, I am much better than I was this summer. I realize that this is bittersweet – and my job is to feel the bitter and open my eyes to the sweet – and I know there are some sweet parts. Health? Travel? Hobbies? Relationships? A new set of pans? (Hehehe – I had to throw that in.)
Dang! I can’t find a picture! That’s kind of sad too….
So here it is. the back story of my tripping down the fitness path. And I’m so grateful to all of you who have welcomed me into your circle. Thank you!