The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

Every now and then I get a little bit lonely
and you're never coming 'round

Every now and then I get a little bit tired
of listening to the sound of my tears

Every now and then I get a little bit nervous
that the best of all the years have gone by

Every now and then I get a little bit terrified
and then I see the look in your eyes

Turnaround, Bright Eyes,
Every now and then I fall apart

Lately, more and more, I've been feeling the mom time being yanked from me. You know? And though I am so much more than a mom, it is such a defining part of me. The thoughts that I have precious little time with my girls before they are off into the world doing the grown-up thing (and leaving me to my own devices) are becoming more frequent and more urgent.

When I was in my mid-twenties, contemplating having children in the first place, I remember that I wanted to have babies. Wanted to love them. Wanted to raise them strong and happy and fulfilled. Still do. This in spite of sound reason to the contrary.

After the first two came, and my life became the chaotic blind-folded knife-juggling and nightly one-legged plate-spinning-before-a-full-house fiasco that it usually is, I remember thinking that I wanted to raise independent children who were prepared to go out into the world...and stay there!

Part of me missed the before time. The lazy Sunday mornings spent reading the paper in bed while eating donuts. The spur of the moment motorcycle rides. Inviting all of your friends over and partying all night. Of course, at the time, I had two in diapers, lived away from all my friends and family, and was working full-time, too. I'm sure that was part of it.

As they got older, some part of me held onto that thought. That someday, someday, I'd have "my life back". The life I had willingly, even eagerly, put on hold to raise my babies. Please don't read that as regret. Far from it. I enjoyed my younger days, but I embraced motherhood with a passion and a purpose and I still do. It's just that, every once in a while, I'd like to strike out on some spontaneous adventure and not have to think about whether someone can watch the "baby" while I do it, or whether I can afford it when I know I need to buy school clothes and take someone to the doctor.

I don't know that I've ever been someone I'd call irresponsible. (Oh, I've had days...sometimes weeks...some of them I even remember...well, mostly remember...) There's just that little voice that lives deep inside of me that wants to be. Not totally. Not permanently. Just, occasionally. When it suits me.

And while that little voice is never silenced, she's getting drowned out by a new voice. The new voice, that is not so little at all, actually, that is asking me, "what are you going to do with your life once your babies are all gone?". It's insistent and takes great pleasure in reminding me that some of those babies will be gone so very soon. The little voice tried to answer, saying "We'll do all the fun things we used to do! All the things we put on hold to raise the babies! Hooray!" Until the big mean voice boomed, "Who are you kidding? You're old now!" So, the little voice from my youth spends it's time cowering in the corners, retreating deeper and deeper.

I wonder what I will do with my time when I'm not shuttling people around or helping with homework projects or reminding people to take their medicines and baths. I wonder how much weight Highlander will gain eating massive amounts of leftovers, as I try to re-educate myself on how to cook for two people instead of five. I wonder if the people who have become some of the best friends in the world to me, the people I have raised to be strong and independent, will need me at all anymore.

While I find myself wanting, badly, to cling to them, wanting to hold them tight to me and smother them with love for whatever time I have left with them (though I realize that my own insecurities are not what they need), I don't. I can't. It's not fair to them. As long as we're being honest, I should say that I find it very hard stopping myself from doing it.

Oddly, I feel such a mix of relief and exasperation with the fact that my youngest is only six. I'll be in my mid-fifties when she, the last one, heads off to college, which seems an eternity from now. Having seen how quickly the other two have grown, though, makes me feel very glad that she'll be sticking around for a while longer. At least I don't have to turn the "mom" completely off for a while.

I guess it's time to start making some plans, though. Some plans for my future. How funny that sounds. I need to think about what I want for the next part of my life. And if there is something I need to be doing now to get ready for it...well...I need to figure that out, too. I'm grateful, and very pleased, that Highlander will be there to help me through it. My apologies, in advance, for driving you crazy, dear, as I learn to back away from the mothering role I've pushed front and center for so long.

It's as though I have the hope of finally finding (guilt-free) time enough to catch up on years of reading I've put off in order to do so many other things for so many others, and, yet, I feel like Burgess Meredith readying for the fall that will break my glasses.

Part of it, I'm sure, is that the girls are going back to their dad's in a few days for a week. Part of it maybe hormonal. But I find that the feeling seems to be staying around, peripherally, even when those things don't apply. Time for me to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I guess. I've put it off as long as I could. Because, whether I like it or not, forever's gonna start tonight...;)


Blogger Your Girl Friday said...

And when they do become independent and take on the world alone - you will be their lifeline, their best friend.

I call my Mum at least 3 times a week with ridiculous questions, and I'm 23!!!

"Mum, sorry to bother you... are you busy?"

"Not really luv, just cooking dinner, dying your sisters hair and washing the car at the same time. Whats up?"

How many minutes should I boil an egg for? You know, to make it all runny so I can dip my toast in it, like you used to make for me when I was little?"

"2.5 minutes luv"

Thanks Mum.

I have developed a whole new appreciation and respect for my Mum since I have lived away from her. I have her on speed dial though... its a comfort thing.

7/26/2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger AaA said...

Mom's rule! Well, as a rule, mom's rule. I suppose exceptions must exist. But generally speaking, mom's rule.

Now, that God-awful song, OTOH... bleah. How did that not make #1 on the Wussiest Songs of All Time list?

7/27/2006 5:21 AM  
Blogger Highlander said...

Mocking my precious Jim Steinman lyrics will get you all jacked up, Nateosaur. I tell you this in truth. Just... back... off.

7/27/2006 5:01 PM  

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