New Year’s Eve 2011

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!

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22 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve 2011

  1. Letting go of our kids T is hard :( I never realised how hard until I moved to Portugal and now rarely see them. It is even worse I am a grandma(makes me sound old, but I’m far from it :))
    They have their own lives and survived without me. This is good because I brought them up, as you did, to be good people and be independent.

    HAppy New Year :)
    PiP

  2. Totally with you PiP. But if they’re going to be their own people they (and we) are going to go where we need to.

    Thanks Terri. Each year brings its ups and downs. All the best to you for this and all the ones in the future.

  3. The people your kids have become are a tribute to the awesome job you’ve done as a parent. While I’m sure it’s been tough letting them go off and do their own thing, you should be proud of yourself for raising such awesome people.

    Here’s to an awesome 2012!

  4. You’ve actually done a fantastic job this past year in covering so many firsts for your family. There will be many more to come -most of them will have you on the upside of life but as always happens, there will no doubt be a few downers now and again too. However, judging by the spirit you’ve always displayed through the years I’ve been following your blog, I’ve no doubt in my mind that you ride it all out in stride. Have a very Happy New Year’s Eve and the best of things in 2012!

  5. It has been a big year for you, hasn’t it, but I think you have dealt with it really well. I hope that we deal with it as well as you have!

    Looking forward to 2012 – it will not be an easy year but I think it will be good.

  6. It’s from those times of uncertainty that we grow the most, I think. Like others have commented, meeting the adults your kids have become can only instill pride in you for a job well done. Isn’t it fun seeing how it turns out?

    Beautifully written, Terri. Your sincerity resonates throughout .. MJ

  7. Very nice post. I am going through some of the same changes that you are and appreciate your pep talks. It is a bittersweet time.

    So happy to have met you this year!

  8. Love ya back, Terri! I’m glad I found my way over to your place. I know just what you mean about having to let your kids go. It wasn’t so long ago that I had to let my only son go off to college. But isn’t it rewarding when they learn they’re capable of so many things and return to us as friends, too?! Happy 2012 to you and yours!

  9. I hear ya, you know I hear ya! I remember my parents always saying to their friends “they grow up so fast”, and it is SO true. Like you, my identity has been wrapped up in being a mom for so long, it’s hard to not feel lost as we work ourselves out of the “job”.

    But it’s just another transition, and you’ll find yourself on the other side landing strongly on both feet! I’m so glad to have you as a blog friend, Terri. Happy New Year!

  10. I’m glad you found a way to let go of the panic. It gives me hope that I will be able to do the same one day when Mike and I have kids. I feel that I will be the same way, as I’m sure a lot of parents are. At least you can look at your kids now and see who they have become and know that you did a great job raising them into adulthood, and you can tell they love YOU too and that has got to be a great feeling.

  11. Letting go can be so hard, Terri. We can only do so by having faith in our children, trusting them. They are growing into wonderful, independent people who want to conquer the world. Still I would love to go back to early times, when I could hug them and kiss all the pain better.
    Have a great 2012.

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