Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coming Home!

      I am anxiously waiting to go to the airport to pick up Regan. She had  a great experience spending  time with her Aunt and cousins. Writing music,seeing the sights and learning about the city.. I believe she has found her first love, Nashville!
      Although, it was so hard to let her go, and yes, I did cry a few nights, I survived, not that I am in any hurry for her to leave again!  Regan did great, she is going to be fine.She is a brave, independent young lady, who has some courageous ideas for her life,and I applaud her!
     As always with my children, I feel like everything I do or give them is a learning experience for them,and as always, I am usually the one being taught! I know it was harder for me to let her go, than for most parents. I won't deny that I keep my kids close to me, and to home. After growing up in the environment that I did, I probably have become too overprotective,wanting to shield them from any harm or pain.I am learning that this is an impossible task, even for me. I will not always be with them, to help them make good decisions, or keep them from harm. All I can do is give them the tools and resources that they need, along with all of my love and support.
    Letting Regan go on this trip was a big step for...... Me. I have learned a lot about myself this past week. I am stronger than I think,when it comes to my children. This trip helped me to become aware that they will all be growing up and moving out. It made me think about how important it is for me to continue to have an independent identity of myself. I don't want to wake up one day , my kids out of the house, and then wonder what is left for me. I LOVE my kids, however, I was a woman,and a wife first. And guess what? I will still be a woman and a wife last!
     As mother's we throw ourselves into raising our children, we place their needs, wants and desires above our own. We sometimes even place them above our spouses'! I understand now the importance of cultivating my relationship with my husband, and finding interests of my own. As parents we need to remember that time goes so fast, and our children do not belong to us.We only have a short amount of time to prepare, train and influence them for their lives. If we  have done our jobs right, they will  leave, build lives, have careers and start families of their own! For so long I have dwelled on the fact that they will "leave" me, when in reality, that's a selfish burden to place on them for growing up!  I need to keep it into perspective. They are not "leaving" me, they are leaving their childhood behind to become adults. It took me this week to recognize the difference. I now know that I was never really afraid for them to leave home, I was afraid of what my future looked like without them. I wonder how many other mother's feel this way?
    So, where does that leave a mother who has dedicated her life to her children? If I am not careful, I will not know where I belong. I will not know how to face that season of my life. I have learned this week, that I need to start exploring and doing some preparing of my own. I need to look at my life, and reflect on what I want for myself in the next 10 years, as my children become adults. I need to find that "me", that was "me" before "them". I need to continue to grow, towards the woman that I am to become, not when they leave, but while they are still here. I am not going to wait for the last one to leave,I am going to start now, so that  when they do leave, I will be ready to help them pack!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leaving on a Jet Plane

      I just took my baby girl to the airport to go on her first trip to see her aunt and cousins. Its the first time she has ever been on an airplane by herself, and it is the first time she has ever been away from home, and more importantly, from me!
     My family has been asking me for a long time to let her come and visit, but I had been so reluctant and fearful. However, now at almost 16, I knew I could no longer hold the tight grip I had placed on her. Yes, realistically, I know many kids go away to family, friends, and camp . They even start at a very early age!
 I can remember my brother and I traveling to see our father on a Grey Hound bus from the age of 9 years old. So, its not like I don't know that it is possible, attainable, and safe.
     Regan was ready to take this next step in her independence. I was not. I checked her bags the night before, and rechecked them in the morning. I went over every scenario with her on the way to the airport.I confirmed her seats, flight, and layover information. With the occasional, "Mom,I'll be fine!", I still wasn't convinced. How will she managed without me? How will I manage without her? Its only ten days, I keep repeating to myself. I promise I won't cry, or I'll embarrass her.
After the long process of going through security we reach the gate. I can tell from her face, the excitement had turned to doubt, and I  immediately feel guilty for having imposed my fear on her. I remind myself, that she is watching me, for my response. She needs my "ok", my reassurance. As much as she is ready, I since the hesitation, if only for a brief second. My mom mode kicks into high gear. I will not let her see me cry.I get her to the gate,  "I am so excited for you! You are going to have so much fun!" , I manage weakly, but tried to say it with conviction. She looks at me, searching for truth in my eyes. She is making sure I am going to be okay. Once she is reassured, she quickly grabs her bags, and gets in line. "Do you want me to take a picture?" She looks mortified,  rolls her eyes,"really?? NO!" I smile.
Now, I can see in her face that the hesitation has turned to anticipation, and I don't want to take that away from her. I watch her walk down the corridor, trying to peak around the overly tall gentleman right behind her. She doesn't even look back. Once she is out of sight, then and only then I let out the tears I have been holding back. I swipe them away with my jacket sleeve.Nolan and Liam are staring at me.I look down at them and smile. We walk away. Every now and then I glance back, knowing I won't see her, but checking anyway.
I take hold of both of my boys hands, and we head towards the tram.I wonder what it will be like when they are also ready to leave home for the first time. Will it be easier? less painful? I doubt it. I may be able to accept it more, but I know the heaviness on my heart will be the same. But, for now, I won't allow myself to think that far into the future, I only want to focus on the next 10 days.
  Watching her get on that plane, was another step towards her future. Letting her go was another step towards my growth. For her this trip is about independence, for me its about leaning on Whom I Depend. She will dwell in the happiness of freedom, and family. I will dwell in the House of my Lord and Savior. She will be comforted by her Aunt and cousins. I will be comforted by my Comforter. Yes, we are both moving forward, towards our future, hers is an all new beginning and I am realizing that mine has just begun!