As many of you know, my one and only child recently left to join the US Navy. Proud? Heck yes. Excited? Yup! Sad and crying? Oh, freakin’ absolutely!
The plight of the only child is that all of your parent’s everything gets put on you: their hopes, fears, limitations and often, their sense of fulfillment.
When I made the decision to become a Mom, I was all in. My kid owned my heart and every choice I made from there forward. Yes, I worked and paid bills and took trips without him, but at the end of the day, everything was viewed through the lens of its impact on him.
This occurred for 22 years.
I have been getting glimpses of how much of myself I have poured into this child, not because he asked for it, but because that is what love, as his Mom, looked like to me. I watched my own Mother do it. Yes, she had her things: quilting groups, mission groups, bowling with my Dad on the weekend, but she was our Mom first and foremost, and we felt the love from her. She rocked it, and still does.
When we all left the house, she started working part-time outside the home. She loved it. A little mad money, she called it. A greater sense of herself for being able to earn her own paycheck. As a farmer’s wife her money was always tied to my dad. After they retired from farming, she got to experience being able to work and earn all by herself. It was really fun to watch.
I’ve always worked. I’ve always had a career, so while I don’t have to learn to achieve for myself in a financial way, I do have to learn it in a purpose driven way. My whole perception of what is important to me and why it’s important is having to shift. I’ve run two successful practices, but my work never defined me. Being “Christian Brady’s Mom” was always my greatest joy. When Christian was growing up, the other Moms and I would sit around at Scout meetings, swim meets, and LaCrosse games and talk about being “some kids Mom” and laugh. It was a job we loved, and most of us had careers outside of our kids. We just loved being that kid’s Mom.
It’s a right of passage. Books are written about sending your kid off to college, but nobody (trust me, I’ve checked) writes books about sending your kid off to the enlisted military. So, how to navigate not only sending my boy away, but how to peel myself out of his existence and ground myself fully, on my own. I believe this is the greatest journey of my life.
Do I strongly dislike having to take the walk? Yeah, I do. Things will not be the same without Christian at my side. He’s always been my favorite travel buddy, even teaching my husband the ropes when Clarence came along. Christian shares my same loves: the earth, the trees, the water, paddling, camping in the middle of nowhere, photography, 12-year-old boy humor, and the list goes on. He makes me laugh as our sense of humor is the same. This kid learned early on that if he could make me laugh the degree of trouble he was in diminished quickly as laughter has always brought me back to what is true and honestly important.
The journey of Spiritual evolution is guaranteed, Spirit takes care of that always coaxing us upward. Personal evolution requires more participation, more consciousness, and so can be more challenging. One of course, utilizes the other for energy and forward movement. They are intertwined and cannot be separated. I know that as much as I may not like this change, it is not just for Christian’s maturity and evolution, but for mine as well. While I may not enjoy this part, I know inside it is purposeful.
I can recognize discomfort AND growth in the experience, and I know that Spirit utilizes our life experiences in that regard. One supports the other in the continuum of our expansion. Again, I KNOW it, I just don’t always LIKE it.
And so it goes. I know I’ll adjust to the new way of Mothering, of connection to my son, of how we all together experience ourselves as a family. I know I will experience myself more fully in the time to come whether I like it or not. I know I am being asked to see and experience myself, my worth, my sense of priority and value differently than I ever have. I know there will be creative expansion in this, and I will have space for more great ideas, dreams, visions and connections in my life. I know it in my Soul. This part right now is still hard.
So, forward we go. Expanding, learning, being challenged, getting uncomfortable and then moving through the discomfort to a new sense of greater “I am”.
Once a Mom, always a Mom. I mean, my Mom is 85 and she’s still my Mom! And now, a woman finding fully herself.
Forever the journey,