I seemed to get away from blogging this last year as life took me in some new directions. I still have my private practice and have focused almost entirely on psychotherapy. I now only provide online services and I also had personal matters to attend to. One of those matters was getting my only child off to college. My son decided to head off to college out of state. This left me with mixed emotions on the one hand. I was excited that he had decided to venture out while the majority of his friends stayed close by. He reminded me of myself at that age. I chose to go to college in Boston while most of my friends went to the University of Maine. What made this most difficult for me was how hard it would be to send him off on his new adventure. I knew that I wanted nothing more than for him to have an exciting life, but it would also mean redefining myself as “not someone’s mother.” Basically, I was out of a job. I had focused so much on him for the last 18 years that I had almost lost track of how to live as my previous self. Where had this precious woman gone? Could I find her again?
Who will I become?
The question I had to ask myself was, “who am I if I’m not his mother anymore?” Of course, I’m still his mother, but I’m not the mother that he needs like he needed in the past. He no longer needs me to tell him what to do or how to do laundry or make scrambled eggs. He’s now a man. So now that he’s a man, who am I and who will I become. I’m not exactly old, but I’m not the young woman I was when I became a mother. I am much smarter now about life, less anxious and I find myself enjoying the quiet in my home.
Hello, it’s you’re mother calling…pick up!
The first two weeks he was away at college my son was very busy, so there was not much time to even catch up. I wanted to know how his classes were. He seemed to think I was like a mosquito buzzing around his head that he wanted to get rid of. What made matters worse for me was the “local mothers” kept going back to the dorm room and bringing all kinds of things. I could not do that living so far away but I would not have. It was time to let go. It was time to let him figure out what he needed without me “making suggestions.”
It’s good to feel good
After several weeks of him being gone, I can finally say that I feel like we’re both headed in the right direction. I’m not sure why it hit me so hard. I might have been in denial all summer because I didn’t seem to be bothered by his going away. I think what was the most difficult for me was imagining my life back as a single woman. While, I relished being on my own for many years, it was very enriching to become a mother. It was hardest and best thing I have ever done. My life became more full than I could ever have imagined. He told me last night on our weekly call wants to come home this weekend, and while I’m fine with it, I’m already dreading my house being a mess again, a pile of laundry on the floor, and all my favorite cold drinks gone before I get one sip.
Napoli, Napoli, Napoli
Last spring I had the good fortune of traveling to Italy. It was the most amazing trip I have ever been on and my plan is to hopefully go back within the next year. I was there while a championship soccer match was evolving. Napoli had never won, and I had the good fortune of witnessing history. Napoli had a history changing event. As I navigate my own life changing event, I know I will find the calmer waters.