Monday, May 10, 2010
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.
Our oldest son, Alexx, normally attends church with us. In fact, even when the parents do not go for some reason, he goes without us and then returns home later to call us pagans. Yesterday morning, however, he had an appointment before church and joined us a bit later.
As we were leaving Starbucks on our way to church (I'd like to say it was a Mother's Day special event, but ...), I looked over to see Alexx walking from his van to his appointment - with his Marine recruiter. His appointment to get his paperwork going with the new recruiter. His appointment to start the ball rolling to leave us for good.
I was faced with an ocean of emotions. Like a survivor floating in the middle of the sea, I was lost thinking of where I started this journey and longing to see land; but not knowing what that land will bring or whether or not it will be safer or even more dangerous than where I am now.
Sean and I began this journey together 23 years ago yesterday when we moved from being the friends we'd been since meeting at 13 years old to a couple. A very unlikely couple. It continues to be an amazing journey with so much to be grateful to God for. Happiness, growing in the same direction, fun and laughter, three beautiful sons, faith in God, survival.
This was all heavy on my mind as I thought about the present day - my 19th Mother's Day - and everything I'd been through bringing me to this point in my life. Let's be honest, here. Mothering my three boys with their combined ADD, ADHD, autism, mood disorder and now Asperger's is quite the challenge on a daily basis. Which takes me back to being even more grateful for the last 23 years with this man whom I love so dearly. We couldn't have done it without the relationship that we have spent all these years building. It is not perfect - not even close - but it is what has delivered me to this 19th Mother's Day without losing every last marble in my head.
And as I look to the future with trepidation thinking about my first born leaving us, leaving the safety of my arms, to fly on his own - and into such a dangerous future of his own - it all feels a bit unreal. I don't think it will fully hit me until he literally walks out of my arms that day when he leaves. But seeing him walking into that meeting as I was basking in my Mother's Day glow forced it to the front of my mind (a place it is not allowed to be right now), and I thought it was going to suffocate me for just a minute until I was able to push it to the back of my mind again where it belongs for the time being. I want to keep being frustrated with him for not picking up his socks or taking his laundry out of the dryer - not wondering where he even is and worrying for his very life.
I'm not ready for that. Will I ever be?
You are always told, as a mama, not to wish your kids' childhoods away - not to miss too much of the present with them trying to get to some point in the future. I am aware of this now that I have a 19-year-old and know just how fast the time goes. I am painfully aware of it now that his leaving to walk, eyes wide open, into a very uncertain future is inching ever closer like a freight train. My only consolation is that he is doing exactly what he wants to do, and going toward a life that he feels God is leading him into.
Grateful for the yesterdays that brought me to the present I am now in; feeling blessed that I can handle today and what it is throwing at me; prayerful that I will handle with grace the future that is quickly becoming the present.
Whatever that may be.