Having our girls graduate from Highschool means we will no longer have anyone in school…elementary, middle school .. high school…those years when as a mom you are most active with your children; and not having anyone fitting that bill makes me feel redundant. So, I have been asking myself this very question: Am I now redundant – superfluous – unnecessary – needless – excessive – spare?
Does our home become an empty nest or a landing pad? Am I now free to pick up where I left off on my journey of self discovery or am I now an old crone – an ugly, withered old woman; a hag? When we become mothers we usually don’t think of the future when our children will be gone, there is too much to do for that. We get sidetracked by all the work that goes into raising children that we sometimes forget that we need to “raise” ourselves as well. The childhood years are both tedious and glorious…insufferably long and far too short.
When we are in the midst of nappies/diapers and colic we can’t wait for it all to be over, but when it is we feel a sense of loss ..we have spent far too much time with our heads down doing all the things that must be done we forgot to look up and see the joy. Each stage of parenting is a series of losses. A letting go of the sense of control we have over our children; when they were infants we were intensely involved with the day to day, as they grow we automatically sensed the need to back away to let go. But they were still with us, in our homes, we could see them every day, be involved with their world; which means we were not looking at what will happen to us when they go as they must.
They must go, we must let them go; but if we do not have something to replace the intensity of daily parenting we are going to feel lost, depressed, redundant. So, I am now shifting my thoughts from the nest to what God is calling me to do, after all I have many years left and to just sit and wait to die sounds neither fun or right.