I've noticed my boys need my time less and less. Turning twelve and thirteen last year changed their lives and mine. They're suddenly busy with Young Men's (church group) or Mutual (combined Young Men-Young Women church group), sports, music, and their friends more and their dad and me less. They can cook/prepare their own snacks and most meals, even if they don't want to. They're pretty much self-sustaining, except for the daily reminder to shower and used deodorant. ;o)
Their idea of a fun Friday night isn't watching a family movie with us anymore, but playing Xbox, watching a movie they like, hanging out with guys their own age, or listening to their IPods. Childhood things are tucked away, and teenage activities have taken their place. I have to wince a little over this.
My life prior to this period revolved around what my boys wanted or needed to do each day. I'm a "hands on" mom---I took them to the library, enjoyed the kid programs there and helped them pick out books. I drove them to the park, pushed them on swings or played referee between them and their cousins. They enjoyed going grocery shopping with me and fought over who would push the cart. I came up with fun activities for Saturdays and days off from school. We explored museums, bird sanctuaries, and skate parks. I had grown used to being there for them all of the time and thinking things wouldn't change.
Now they don't need me to watch them every second of the day or even want to hang out with me 24/7 anymore. Seems like a good thing to most parents, right?
Still . . .
Having no younger children has left me at a precipice. What to do with this free time? I have felt a real loss. Actual tears have been shed. Finding a way to channel my helpful "mom" energy has been a challenge.
I miss being needed by little people. I guess it's a good thing I'm a teacher. I channel some of it into helping my students. Some of it has gone into cleaning my house better. (Ugh.) Some has gone into my lessons with the Young Women at church. Steve and I go on more dates and spend more time together at home than we used to. I've read gobs more books and watched even more movies and "Poirot" episodes.
Steve's been really supportive through this crisis of mine and has encouraged me in writing. I think he's got the right idea. I would love to finish the two stories I've started. I think writing about funny things that happen in life would be a kick. So, who knows? I've always believed that when one door closes, God opens another one. It's just not usually the door I would've picked. In this case, I don't have much of a say in keeping my kids little.
Copyright 2013 Corrina L. Terry
Photos: Me Clock: http://maizehutton.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-doily-plate-clock.html
Circle pic: The Henderson Ladies Me Time Group, Henderson, NV