It’s hard to believe 2011 is closing its doors already. This is a year that made an impact on me, made me contemplate who I am and who I will be in the future.
This was a year I’d anticipated with some trepidation. It ushered in the end of so many things that were an integral part of who I believe myself to be. If you read here regularly, you know where this is going.
2011 brought with it so many lasts. We enjoyed watching one of our kids get all dolled-up for the last high school prom. We watched our daughter embrace all of those high school activities – classes, sports teams, games, volunteering, Relay for Life, hanging out with the high school crowd – for the last time. We celebrated the last high school graduation in our family. We saw her play her last days of fast pitch summer softball. We enjoyed what will probably be the last summer my oldest son comes back from school to live at home.
In all my years of motherhood, I never realized how hard it was going to be for me to say goodbye to those things. I never knew how much I was embracing my own role as a mom until I felt the panic of a future that didn’t hold all of those things I held so dear to my heart.
2011 made me contemplate me. A lot. And eventually, I began to let go of the panic. I began to open my eyes to what lies ahead. I began to understand that as much as I wanted to hold tight to that phase of my life, the future holds promise too.
I realize that it’s impossible to stop time and our lives have to move forward. My kids are living good lives, as evidenced by their successes. They are focused, dedicated to their educations and their jobs. They have good friends who enjoy coming around our house; friends I can see holding places in my kids’ lives for years to come. They’ve nurtured relationships with people we’ve come to love as much as our own children. I am so very proud of who my kids have become. And if anything, that should make me happy, not sad.
Letting go of my kids’ childhoods means letting them grow up. And they have grown up to be wonderful people. Letting them spread their wings means making room in my heart for everything they’ve become and all that they’ve yet to discover about themselves. Letting them take flight means letting myself come back to me. I will always want to take care of them, but it’s okay if they don’t need me to do that as much as I used to. I can get back to learning and growing again without feeling guilty that I am taking something away from them by doing so.
In many ways, this was a difficult year for me, but one that I can see was very necessary. With each passing day, my angst eased a little bit. 2012 is on the door step and I’m welcoming it with open arms.
Happy New Year, everyone – family and friends, online and otherwise. May the next year bring you peace and happiness. And in case I haven’t told you so lately, I love you guys!