The End of Life as We Know It

It’s happening to most of my friends at this time in life. The children are leaving home and it’s as if someone has died. In an instant, the once, revolving door becomes still. There’s no chatter and laughter drifting downstairs. All of sudden you have way too much food and don’t even know how to cook for less. We used to look forward to that trip to Sam’s Club every week. It’s no longer necessary. The calendar has blank spaces where there were none. The babies that used to count on you to take care of them, to give them advice and to provide for them are now out of your reach.

Are they safe? Are they eating? Are they making friends? Are they behaving themselves? These questions cling to you while you try to assure yourself that you’ve done a good job raising them. You decide to text them. They don’t answer. They have so many more important things with which to occupy their time. On the other hand, if they needed something yesterday, you can bet on that text or phone call.

It’s been said that the greatest gift you can give a child is wings. So why does it not feel like a great gift? It’s the end of life as you know it, again. It’s time to start from the beginning, again. There is always that nostalgic period when part of your life ends: graduating high school, leaving your hometown, your friends and your family. Wait, that works both ways. Do your children have anxiety about these changes? Absolutely! I remember feeling anxious, less so after high school, but most definitely after graduating from college. The whole world is at your fingertips and now to decide what to do with the rest of your life. New jobs, new friends and new activities soon replace those feelings as your young adults take that giant leap into their new lives. So why do parents have such a hard time letting go of their past lives? Why aren’t we, collectively, able to embark on new adventures? I have no idea.

Perhaps we should all take a lesson from our kids and make some major changes: a new job, a new hobby, new friends, the list is endless. Use your imagination and get out there.

8 thoughts on “The End of Life as We Know It

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  1. Michelle,

    I saw your post to Betty Louise (a new blog buddy!) on Blogging 201, and had to check your blog out. I am also a book lover of a certain age, and would love to to add another blog buddy, if you’re interested. Here are my blogs: http://pamkirstblog.wordpress.com/
    http://pamkirst2014.wordpress.com/
    One’s about life in general (and aging, in particular) and I find to my surprise, fiction is ermeging. The other’s about books.

    Love to hear from you if time and interest allow!

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Catching My Drift and commented:
    At this ‘certain time of life,’ I love the way Michelle articulates the challenges…and looks forward to the joys that I know are ahead! If you’re there with me, you will enjoy looking at Michelle’s thoughtful posts…

    Like

  3. It is terribly difficult to literally go through blood, sweat and tears in raising your children and they fly from the nest to find their own nitch and their own nest in this world, and then, you, the parent, no longer matter. This is happening to more and more parents and it is sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just a different perspective – I appreciate everything that a parent does to the child. However, when I play my perception of god to my child, I loose myself in that perception of god to my child.
    Now that I got used to being treated in such a way, I am attached to the feeling that emanated through this process, I lost that which I was before the children were to me.
    What if I treated my children as mine and not mine at the same time, so there is not mine involved?
    what if I can let go of the comfort of my children and my perception? what if I find comfort in the discomfort making it my new comfort?
    For I look at the whole process as born alone and leave alone, so why loose this aloneness to the in-between?
    Please forgive me if I offended, just presenting a different view.
    Thank you for letting me share 🙂

    Like

    1. Not offensive at all. You’ve brought up a very interesting concept. This will be impossible for me to completely understand because I never had kids of my own. I have 3 step-sons and they were practically grown when I got them. From my perspective, I think that when you have children, most people sacrifice their personal needs to serve as parent to their children. The personal identity is lost, but I don’t think it is a requirement. I think there are ways to preserve the “self” and give-up the “self”, if done in a balanced fashion. Balance being the key word. If you were to swing to the extreme, where you did not treat your children as your own, I believe it might be more harmful to you both. From what I know about physiology, a mother and a child have a miraculous bond created at birth, via hormones etc. To purposely break, or weaken, the bond, goes against nature and might cause more harm, than good. Studies have shown that from a very young age, children suffer from abandonment if they don’t have the presence/love/bond of the parent continually present. When you leave, they don’t understand if it is temporary or forever. The stress on a child that doesn’t feel the undying love and support of a parent who has sacrificed all for them, I fear would be a greater loss, over a lifetime, than a temporary loss of self during a child’s formative years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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