“You didn’t even let me finish what I was saying…”
“Well, Mom, I don’t care what you were going to say.”
Ouch. That is pretty much it these days. Letting go.
Predictably, that is how I start to feel about my class every year about this time, and I believe it is how they feel about me– substitute “Mrs. Skubik” for “Mom” and you probably have the reality in my classroom right about now. We are almost done with our tapestry. It has been woven with care, stiched bit by bit, embellished… it is nearly finished. It will be torn to shreds in a month or so, never to exist again. Its threads and tatters will weave themselves into each of our lives, but it won’t ever be the same. I mourn that each year. I celebrate the possibilities–relish them in the beginning, and when we are near the end, I grieve. This used to catch me off guard my first few years of teaching, but no more. I get ready for the pain, I start to back off a little, I begin to let go of them. So it hurts less, I tell myself.
It’s the same in my home. Also time to let go. The tapestry of my mothering, of our parenting, the fabric of our life together so far– about to be torn. College is on the very near horizon. Last months of high school. Everything is changing. She is SOOO ready to cut these ties. She is soooo ready to take what she needs and head on out to start her own masterpiece. She has already started it of course, but the college life break is so big, so new for all of us.
Everything I have wanted for her is coming true, but I didn’t plan on the pain. It caught me off guard. Well, not all of it. I knew it would hurt when she moved out, but I didn’t think she would be moving me out of her life. Literally. Don’t say that isn’t true, because it is. Of course I will always be a part of her life, but not in the way I have been for 0-18. For childhood. I don’t know why I didn’t see that coming, but I didn’t. It is the way it should be, a young woman has to find her way into the world on her own, with her own voice. She is ready to do this. I am proud of the person she is. I admire her.
But why does it have to hurt so much? Why does it require a heart of steel? Mine isn’t up to the challenge right now. Will it ever be? Could it ever be?
I wish I could take a cue from my teaching life, but it won’t work. I can’t back off. I try, but I get pulled back in right away. Mental gymnastics! Why are they involved? I am not as agile as I need to be. Because as soon as that little gem of a conversation was over, the next line was, “Can we go to Target and pick up some bathing suits?” And she meant it- like it would be fun to hang out with your buddy! “Let’s go! And maybe we could stop at Starbucks!!!!”
Really? ‘Cause ten minutes ago I sucked.