So if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that I am soon to be an empty-nester. My daughter is in graduate school in another state and my son is about to head off to college this fall. At this time in my life it is easy to get caught up in the past and what I (we) are leaving behind. It’s even getting hard to watch the old videos of when they were little because all it seems to do is bring me to tears. I spent so much of my life looking forward to being a mother and then actually raising my kids, it’s hard to see purpose in my life beyond them. True, I have my writing and the possibility of getting my novels published someday, as well as finally having the time to really dive into my family history research, but there will never be anything in my life as fulfilling as being a mother.
Now here I am reaching the pinnacle of my life and about to crest the mountain and see what’s on the other side. Time to leave those tears behind and embrace the journey ahead. After all, those years of raising kids weren’t always easy ones. There were many moments of uncertainty about how to proceed for their best benefit and for mine. In spite of reading every book I could get my hands on about raising kids, in spite of taking parenting classes, in spite of all of my efforts, I made mistakes. But in the end, I did achieve what I had hoped I would. They are both wonderful people. They are both the type of person that brings “color” to the lives of others. They are both people who will LIVE their lives and not just stand by and watch as other’s live theirs. I am very proud of them and it is a relief to have all those worries behind me.
I know what you are thinking, you who have adult children, that the worries are never going to be behind me. Maybe that is true, but it is those years when they are being molded and guided that help them stand up to whatever life throws at them. Certainly, my husband and I will always be there for them, a safety net spread out below in case they fall. But I believe they are prepared to lead their own lives now and that they will each leave their mark on this world. I can’t wait to see what they will achieve!
In the meantime, I took my son to get his tuxedo for his prom last night. I smiled as I saw the handsome man that he had become. Someday a young lady is going to be really lucky to have him in her life. He has grown to be a sensitive, smart, funny, and caring young man. I remember always being aware as I was raising him that I was not raising a boy, I was raising a man. I am so proud of the man he has become.
Tonight, however, I am flying down to visit my daughter and in a few days we will embark on a road trip as we drive her car back home for the summer. I will treasure these days and imprint them on my memory to keep them with me for the rest of my life. This summer she is traveling to the Amazon to learn the language Kichwa and to gain a better understanding of the culture of the people who speak the language. She’s come a long way from the nights when I would tuck her into bed while reading her her favorite book about the rain forest. She has always wanted to save the animals and trees. If anyone can do it, she can; and if she can’t, I know that she will at least save the memory of what the rain forest was for those generations to follow. I am looking forward to seeing her spend her life researching something she is so passionate about and sharing her research with young people who will call her Professor.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy