After spending the last several weeks feeling frightfully anxious, I have finally become absolutely still.
Well, not completely still…but definitely peaceful.
Thing 2 and I had very big and serious conversations about moving forward. That girl, she never ceases to amaze me…she is kind and compassionate, though never swaying from her pragmatic point of view. She was very specific about how she expected this new way of life to look…what each of our responsibilities would be. I made a list of our individual expectations…they were almost identical. One stipulation she had that didn’t surprise me, but made me so glad she felt she could say it, she wants to come sometimes without YBW’s two Things so she can feel as though she has our undivided attention. “And sometimes, Mommy, can we do things without YBW too? Just the two of us?”
Yes my darling, we can.
She is clear about her needs, she is clear about her expectations, she is clear about what this new way of being means…we’re going to have to wait a little while to see how it feels…but we’ve built in safeties to address that too.
I have misgivings about leaving her, not because she can’t handle herself, but because I will miss out on the daily things that make me equally glad and horrified to know her. (I say this with a smile)
I can hear my friend and mentor saying, ‘you did it!’ and ‘trust her’ and continuing to remind me ‘she didn’t grow up in a vacuum’. (still smiling)
I wonder if it sounds like I’ve let a 15 year old girl make this life altering decision for me. Allow me to assure you, as I had to really assure myself, that is not the case. I decided this all by myself. Of course I had to consider how specific people felt about it, I then had to decide how to incorporate those feelings, but in the end, this rested on me.
I have never ever made a major decision by myself.
This shames and frightens me to admit. Alas, it is true. What I learned in the last month (ish) is really about me. I am smarter and infinitely more capable than I’ve ever realized, or been lead to believe.
I have listened to and trusted my gut and in that, I have found peace.
I’m not peaceful because I’m going to be with YBW. I’m not peaceful because Thing 2 and I made a solid plan. I am certainly not peaceful because I had to listen to a barrage of all the reasons why this would be horrible for Thing 2 and for me. I am peaceful because I took in only the information I needed. I considered the angles, the pros and cons. I examined how much of my parenting is “what’s good” for Thing 2, and how much of it is selfishly motivated.
You know, I came out the other side feeling…well…reborn actually. As though I was a phoenix, and at the end of the absolute worst day, I burst into flames. Flames that destroyed my doubt and fear and insecurities (well, some of them anyway) and awoke the following morning lighter and more clear, with a brand new concept of myself and my place in the world.
I am a great mom. Nothing will ever change that. But now…now I’m a greater me. And that is worth everything.
This little Robynbird became a phoenix for the most important moment, and the gifts it provided will shape an entirely new way of being.