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The only constant is change August 25, 2008

Posted by phoenixhopes in motherhood, teens, thoughts.

Did you ever have a pain so raw and so deep that you couldn’t look it squarely in the face? You had to dance around it, stealing glances, sure that if you made eye contact it would wash over you like a tidal wave and you would be consumed?

This is what my summer has been, waiting and dreading the day I had to face another change in my life. Yesterday I moved my thirteen year old, my baby, to the big city to live with his brother. It’s a good move for him, the right one, full of opportunity and hope. He’s surrounded by people that know him and like him and will grow to love and nurture him. I expect that he’ll flourish and grow to become the man he’s meant to be.

Deciding to let him go was a decision I made for him and not for me. It seems that most of the decisions in my life, big and small, have been made for my children. Where will I live? Will I stay at this job? How will I spend my money? Who will I spend my spare time with? What will I do this weekend? Some days I wonder — when do I choose based on what I really want? When do I choose the ending I most want to see?

Almost every conversation I’ve had over the past few months discussing this move has been centered on what is best for my boy — The school here is killing his spirit. He needs a place to let loose his creativity. He spends too much time alone. He needs the daily influence of men in his life. He wants to go. He’s happy and relaxed in a way I haven’t seen in years. This is the right thing for him. He’ll be ok.

Through it all I’ve wondered if I would also be ok. I’m tired of changes, tired of adjusting, tired of watching my dreams die. I’ve reminded myself that mothers throughout the ages have made the hard choices for their children, sending them off to their destiny even when they want to hold them close. I’ve told myself (although I’m not so sure I fully believe it) that I’m a better mother for making this choice. Somehow, by letting him go and live apart from me, I will help him become more whole and more the man he is supposed to be.

But the pain lurks, like a dragon, just around the corner. I have to consciously hold it away from me so I’m not consumed. I’m afraid if I look it square in the face that I’ll be overwhelmed and immobilized by the enormity of it all. I have to keep moving forward, to somehow make it through the long quiet nights when the doubts and the loneliness sneak up on me. I have to convince myself that I can survive this change as well as the others that came before it. That somehow, in the end, I’ll be ok.