"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adjusting to change..

It's been way over a month since I have sat to put words down here.
I'm not sure I am ready yet...
but I guess it's time.

I've kept my thoughts and feelings mostly bottled up and set aside for months,
except for the few who have asked and stuck around for the answer,
I've not been ready to even voice out loud what is tucked away so deeply.

I guess it's a mama's way of survival - 
to push down deep...those feelings of change, 
so that we don't crack
or break completely

I've pushed them down hard for months
partly because I didn't want to spend my time ruminating 
when there was still so much life here in this house...
I didn't want to miss a moment
I was busy savoring and storing mental pictures away for a rainy day...

Since there's rain in the forecast for today...

Here it is...

I am here...in a quiet house...
wondering where all the mothering years have gone.

My firstborn has turned 22
my middle has donned a uniform and is trudging through Marine Boot Camp 
and my babygirl is about to turn 16.

There is a wedding in the near future,
Alex will wed his high school sweetheart...
and I am so proud and so filled with joy for them.

They have chosen to walk the tough road of relationships...
to have dated for so long and remained faithful to their commitment-
it makes my mother-heart proud.

I guess the hardest part of these last months has been the anticipation of Nick's departure.
He is one week into the thirteen week Boot Camp..

and every morning I wake suddenly-
before the light of the day-
 with a prayer for him on my lips,
a begging for strength and endurance
for health and 
for a Remaining in Him..

and thirteen weeks of no communication is tough on a mama 
who has always been right there...

There will be a brief reunion of family
ten days with him...
and a wedding- 
orchestrated around him and his schedule...
because brothers matter and he needed to be there, 
standing in support...

But then, he'll be gone again...
this time much farther away and for a longer period of time.

And for a mama who has always been there,
the cutting away hurts like crazy.
That he has chosen to serve his country swells my heart,
but the sacrifice is great...
for all of us.

And it could knock the wind out of me
if I let it.

And I'm trying not to let it...
and what gets me through is this girl...
She still wakes up here every morning.
She still has so much to say after a long day of school..
and she still needs her mama to be there.

And I see how fleeting it is,
this mama-thing.  
And I don't want her to feel slighted..
as if the best parenting was done before she was done.
There are three more years to go with her here
I choose to be present for each one of them...

I'm not really sure how we got here...
Just yesterday they were playing in the backyard together..
and literally hanging all over me...

And I'm not really sure how to settle all of this in my heart...
maybe, as moms, we never really "get over it"
or maybe in time it will feel right...

I'll admit that I have to force myself not to look ahead into
 the not-so-distant-future-
to the time when Emma has graduated
and the house is empty
except for me...

It is a daunting thought...
and sad

It's not the picture I had laid out for myself, for sure...
my picture included another person-
and joy in having time to ourselves
This picture...
well, I'm not really sure what to do with it.

So I'm stuffing this little piece back down further...
it is another day's concern-
not for today.

I am choosing not to borrow from tomorrow,
but it is a daily-sometimes momentary decision.

I am choosing to believe that today is important,
even when sometimes it feels so insignificant....
I am choosing to relish the 
here and now
with her
...because she brings so much joy to our home...

All of my parenting years I have chosen to believe over what I see
and I'm still believing...
still drawing strength from the Truth that lies beneath all this 
And if you see me, I hope you will see a smile on my face
but if you don't 
it's not because I'm not okay..
it's just because I'm a mama at heart
and being a mama means there will always be 
pain in the growing
and struggle in the changes.

But being a mama also means I will rise up
and do the job that needs to be done...
because that's what mama's do...

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, 
and dealing with fears you didn't know existed.  
~Linda Wooten

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