Saturday, August 21, 2010

Awakening


Do you remember this movie? It describes a little bit of what I've felt is happening in my life. After 13 years of being a stay-at-home mom things are changing all around me and in the process I've experienced an awakening deep inside of myself that I wasn't expecting.

Soon, I will be sending my baby to Kindergarten and everything I've known about every day life is going to change. This is a day that I've dreamed of for years. I never understood when other mom's would cry and be so emotional about watching the last one go to school...I always thought these women were nuts. But now, in my old age, I get it. It's the end of an era. And, that is sad in the way that it is always hard to say good-bye and it is always hard to experience change.

Knowing that this moment in time has been approaching quickly has forced me to take notice of the every day common things that will soon be gone such as: the feeling of a little hand reaching up to hold mine as we walk through a parking lot, the smell and softness of sleepy heads right after dawn, the richness of being able to pick up a big 5 year old in my arms and feel his tight grasp around my neck, laying in bed and reading a picture book, the feeling of joy I get when I tickle a belly and the wonderful sound of tiny giggles, enjoying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at my kitchen table at noon, chalk drawings on the sidewalk and wiping tears of disappointment...really all those things are rich and buttery and sweet. But, for so many years they have just been common...not for long.

My role is changing...ready or not. I've been given a shove in that direction over the last 6 weeks because a job literally fell into my lap. I wasn't looking, wasn't expecting to go back to work, wasn't preparing to go back to work, just suddenly was back to work. I think I was naive about the whole thing and just thought taking this position would be like getting paid for what I was already doing. It has come to mean so much more than that and it requires much more than that...ready or not!

Over the last few weeks, we, my kids, my husband and myself, have had to quickly learn what it means that mom is not always around. What it means that mom has to leave and they have to step up and take on more responsibility. I think this is a good experience...we just weren't prepared for the shock of it all.

Personally, I wasn't prepared for what is awakening inside of me. It has been like a part of myself that has been asleep for many years is alive, thriving and begging to get out. I've located a new boldness I never knew I had. I'm having conversations I never thought I could have and asking for things in a way I didn't know I was capable of. And, I'm taking risks...and really, that is brand new for me. I'm asking people to believe in me...and in order to do that I must first believe in myself...

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.
W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge, 1943

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