Thursday, November 20, 2014

Letting Go


Sicily is riding the city bus home from school today. Alone.

I had initially told her she had to ride with a friend first. With good reason. This is the same kid who had no idea where we were when we walked the dogs in a  larger rectangle than usual one evening. She is not known for paying excellent attention to her surroundings.

This is partially due to the fact that she is a teenager, and everyone knows that the world revolves around them. They shouldn't have to actually pay attention to the movements and actions of others, they are so sure that they are the center of attention.

But I have been thinking.

Sicily has started pulling away in the way that adolescents do. She no longer shares her school work with me (unless I ask, which I do, but I never get details, and it's never so I can help her). It takes more effort on my part to get her to share the details of her life, even though she isn't sullen or moody much. She is just becoming more private.

Hard doesn't come close to what this is.

For the past five years, I have been Sicily's teacher and mother. We have spent most of our waking hours together, and I have been in charge of her education and the organizer and coordinator of her household and personal life.

I have lost my husband, and now it is time for her to go away, too.

This is how it feels. Maybe a little less desolate because I know that she is here and will need me in other ways. But still. The hours that I spent on her are now available to me, but I am still finding my way back to life and could spend hours just staring out the window.

This is a feeling that non-parents will not be able to understand. It's not like you can raise a dog that is suddenly self-aware and able to function by him/herself and wants to move into the backyard two doors down. When Sicily was born I had to figure out who I was again. When Dane died, I had to figure out who I was again.

And now Sicily is becoming her own fabulous, independent person and it's time to explore myself. AGAIN. It's getting a little tiresome, if I am being honest. Sometimes I would like to just be the one person and get it over with.

And for you naysayers who are out there thinking you are always the same no matter what, well, to you I say: just wait.

So today, I will wait for the text that says she is on the bus. Then wait again for the one that says she is off the bus, then walk with the dog to collect her. Most likely, it will be a non-event. She will not want to do it every day because weather and sleepy and hassle. Or maybe she will. I am trying to think of it as giving both of us a little more freedom, but today this letting go makes me just a little sad.


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