During the past year, I’ve had more time to think, mull, ponder, obsess…well, you get the idea…than I have in probably a decade. Truly, I am sick of ‘introspective’ me. And I’m sure my friends, while way too kind and compassionate to say so, are too (thank you especially Susan, Holly and Jean).
I was fearful blogging would make me self-absorbed. Or maybe I already was. Ouch. Simply, my goal was to write about family, faith and that ‘F’ word, which I promised not to mention again. I also wanted to commit to paper, or rather computer screen, stories about my children that have been rattling around in my head for years.
The notion of ‘holding on and letting go' runs strong in my psyche. In another life I was on the journalism faculty at a large university and the director of advising for that program. During the summer, I’d face hordes of eager freshmen and their parents. Part of my job was to soothingly explain to parents they wouldn’t be joining their sons and daughters during the scheduling process. Rather they would attend a special session called ‘Holding On and Letting Go.’
I must confess I may have been a bit testy the year Erik left home at sixteen to spend a year abroad as a foreign exchange student and a parent would ask me ‘what classes are we taking.’
My flaws are legion in my book, but I also know my strengths. Putting myself in the place of the other is one of them. My husband is both amused and bemused that I argue both sides of a dispute between us, his and mine. Just because I am adept at ‘letting go’ does not mean I don’t understand how difficult it is. Just measure my waistline.
The mall bookstore is going out of business, like so many of its ilk. Today I was standing in line to buy 40-percent-off books that I can get at the library for free, including a mid-life mom memoir. Behind me two women were having a conversation. One said she couldn’t believe her daughter would be 18 months soon. Turning around, I saw that the woman agreeing with her about how fast time went had an infant strapped to her chest.
Instead of ‘sagely’ weighing in, I kept my mouth shut. Suddenly it does seem like a very long time ago that I had a three-month-old infant strapped to my chest at the Phoenix airport awaiting his first flight to grandma and grandpa’s.
Many flights and many years later, that child is spending New Year’s Eve in London with his girlfriend.
As my wise mother once said, “You don’t get to keep your babies very long.”
And that’s just fine.
Happy New Year.