I don’t know what happened but just yesterday my kids were little, and then I blinked, and now they’re not.
Trying to hold onto those more innocent times isn’t so easy, and it’s definitely not productive. But I do it sometimes. And that can make even the most normal of mothers bat shit crazy. I mean kids are supposed to grow up, right?! Isn’t that what we want?!
Of course that’s what we want.
I’m thrilled my kids are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. My daughter is a sophomore in college in the Midwest and my son is a junior in high school. Both are smart, kind, loving and fun. That makes me proud because I think my husband, Dan, and I did a pretty good job – despite neither kid actually coming with an instruction manual.
But sometimes it feels like it’s all happening too damn fast, like a snowball that is moving at warp speed and gains more and more momentum as it rolls down the hill. It’s hard for me to keep up. I mean, I’ve always been able to keep most of my shit together. But then last year my daughter ran away! Ok, she didn’t run away – she went to college. Even though Dan and I supported and encouraged her and lovingly helped her trade in her high school soccer jersey for a Michigan football jersey, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it was a little bit traumatic.
As she went off to college I had flashbacks of her as an excited little girl in her Snow White costume at the kindergarten Halloween parade. I kept asking myself who the hell is this poised, strong and excited woman I’m driving to the airport and why did she kidnap my baby? But she was ready to go off into the world as she should be and I was strong for her - even though it almost killed me.
And now as my son prepares to escape, I mean starts looking at colleges himself, it’s Dan and I who suggest certain schools that might be a good fit even though they’re so far away I want to literally throw up.
If only I could get our children to sign contracts assuring me that they will move back after college. Dan, who is very reasonable, said I can’t do that. Can I do that? No, I can’t do that! But I would like to.
And that kind of thing happens all the time. I generally act rationally on the outside, but often have these internal urges to do or say things that are, shall we say, a little less appropriate. It’s inside where all hell breaks loose. We all love our kids and isn’t having them around an unbelievable gift? But change can be challenging and having one already in college and the other preparing for the same makes me a little lonely. And the intensity of this time, conveniently coinciding with raging hormones as I prepare to turn fifty sometimes makes me a little insecure.
Sometimes my ‘crazy’ slips out. And I’ve seen it happen to my friends as well.
But you know what I’ve noticed? When that crazy slips out it can be pretty damn funny when you take a step back and examine those feelings. And laughing at the insanity can make it a little easier to process and a lot more fun!
All us Miserable Moms need to stick together as we watch our babies go out the door. Our misery needs company. Please feel free to share your own mid-life craziness. I’d love to hear from you.