Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Cycle Of Life and Love
When you're young, you just want to be older. Twelve wants to be thirteen. A teenager. Fourteen wants to be fifteen. To finally drive a car, even though you have to drive with your parents. Fifteen wants to be sixteen. To drive alone. Freedom. Seventeen wants to be eighteen. An adult. Finally. An adult who can help make decisions about how this world should be. An adult who finally has a voice. And nineteen wants to be twenty-one. The ultimate. There is NOTHING you cannot do, once you reach the age of twenty-one.
Then all of a sudden, we are twenty-nine. And thirty is right around the corner. We are depressed. We are sad. And we are. Finally. Beginning to realize. That getting older, is not so much fun. By now, many of us have children. Some of us multiple children. Who are probably approaching the time of their lives for grade school to begin. We stand there. At the door of the kindergarten room. Looking back in, at our children. And wondering. How did I get here. Eyes filled with tears. Looking back in, through foggy eyes and with heavy hearts. Knowing, this is the beginning of their lives. And yet, another fork in the road, leading to another stage of ours.
With each year that passes, and each time we cry, we know, we are getting closer. For every milestone, there is a tear. Tears of joy and tears of sadness. Drivers license, Christmas programs, Spelling Bees, Tee Ball games, high school Football games, Senior Proms, Sophomore Dances, and Graduation. College applications. Campus tours and orientations. Dormitory's and shared apartments. And then, they are gone.
And if we are lucky enough, we stand and look at each other. At what is left. After all these years. We are left. Looking at each other. And silently wondering. Where did it go. Where did all the time go. Did we prepare ourselves for this moment. For this moment of complete togetherness once again. Did we stay close enough, connected enough, to function alone. With each other. As one, once again. Do we remember who we were, before we were Mom and Dad. Did we love enough, make time enough, and touch enough, that we don't feel like strangers now. Now that the big door has closed and the last one is opening.
The last door that leads to the rest of our lives. The door that will show us, eyes that require glasses to read labels and ears that need conversation repeated. Minds that lose information. Only to find it again, weeks later, when we no longer need it.
For many of us, it is the door that leads to grandchildren. Other than our own children, they will become the greatest joy of our lives. There will be no better example of perfection. There will be no child who does it as good as our grandchildren. They will read earlier, talk better, walk faster, and be smarter. Who would have thought, that those children we raised, could have produced, such perfect specimens of human beings.
And now, the cycle begins again. The circle of life continues. One of my oldest sons favorite book to have read to him was, Love You Forever. The story encompasses the lives of a son and his mother. And through out the stages of his life, how her love for him never changes. He is her baby, until he is grown and after. The tide turns, and she becomes his baby. To carry her through, til the end of her life. And in turn, he carries his own child as her life begins as well.
It is such a beautiful story. I must have read it to Joshua a thousand times. But never, when reading it, did I stop to think, how true the words would become. He was only four or five years old. I was still tucking him in bed every night. His teenage years would come and go. And now for Joshua, adulthood is here. And the words continue to ring in my ears..." as she rocked him back and forth, back and forth, she sang, I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.
My children are nine years apart. So for me, I have already encountered the empty nest once. I hope that I am strong enough to get through it again. For this is my last "baby". Zachary is my last go round' at motherhood.
I think I am prepared. More importantly, I think Mims and I are prepared. To be alone. Together. Part of me is scared, and part of me is very excited. I hope we can become "teenagers" again. Enjoy the freedoms that come with youth, and being on your own. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing my husband when I was a young girl. I look forward to having that pleasure as a seasoned woman. A woman who is comfortable with herself, her beliefs and her strengths. A woman who is more than ready, to discover life a second time, with the love of her life. And enjoy, every second, of whatever that time may bring. I'm prepared to love him forever. However long, forever turns out to be.