This week I have quite noticeably felt and seen the shift of my kids growing up and our family turning a page to new chapters. They no longer require me to hold a kleenex to their face while they blow their nose, no one needs me to wipe their bottom, they are able to zip zippers and tie their shoelaces. They brush their teeth on their own. For the most part, they are even the keepers of getting their homework done. They need me to check in on them, but not to hover. Timothy at five years old needs the most hands-on help of course, but even he is able to feed and water the dog, take his dishes to the sink, make his bed, put his shoes on his feet, and buckle his seatbelt. As far as academics it is hilarious what he has gleaned simply by listening to the big kid’s lessons. We are constantly amazed at what he knows and is able to do.
In this chapter of my life, the mom moments no longer allow for a simple band-aid or a kiss to the knee. Their princess and ninja glasses to the world have come off and with it real pain and real heartache. The kind that mold their decisions into the future. The kind that makes them make decrees as young adults, they take into adulthood. The kind that defines how they live life from here on out.
In many ways, my role in their life is shifting to a mentor. I am simply the guide needed to filter their experiences, situations, thoughts, emotions, and decisions. To discuss their choices and decisions with them. To help them come to wise choices and decisions on their own. To make sure they have mentors outside of me and Mark. Ones the kids can go to when they don’t think they can talk to us.
This new chapter is humbling. In many ways, our family has come out of survival mode. A time that we were literally and figuratively faced with life and death. Although we do brace ourselves for Mark’s health to tank further and dive us right back into it. That is not being a pessimist, simply reality.
In the course of a lifetime of survival, I have been able to sweep my pet sins under a giant “I’m raising my kids”, “my husband has a chronic illness”, “I was molested as a child”, and now the “surviving a pandemic” rug. To busy with day-to-day survival to take responsibility to discipline me and to take conscious action towards my health, words, actions, and Lord only knows what other avenues have been shaken from the rug.
In this new chapter, I find myself with the ability to explore “what now” questions. What do I want to do? What hobbies do I want to cultivate? Do I want a career change? Do I want a career? What do I want to learn? I don’t know the answers, but I am excited and a little scared at what new mountains are before me. Do I want to climb them? How long will the life hike take? Do I have time?
I am excited and a little nervous to see what will be written on the pages of this chapter.