I apologize, fellow writers. I should have made the effort to create a clever analogy or metaphor to explain my situation. Unfortunately, sometimes we must fall back on the simpleness of terms and emotion.
There is one clarification needed in the above statement. When life has turned a dark corner and we are stressed, grieving, depressed and hopeless, the only thing we must count on is the absolute certainty that things will change. There is my disclaimer.
Let’s talk change. Summer is over. I am a lover of summer. I crave the heat of the sun on my bare skin and the freedom of sandals and the lure of beaches and vacation. I love long lazy mornings and endless evenings filled with Dairy Queen runs and barbeque grills, as I watch my boys throw a ball to my dog and play in the sandbox, their laughter echoing through the soft summer breeze. So, as many people look forward to crisp air and orange leaves, I battle my dread of the winter and try to stay in the moment. There are things I do love about the rotating seasons but I must stifle my instinct of preservation. I should have been born in Florida or some tropical island, but sadly, New York is bred in my blood so I am stuck here. Maybe forever.
My boys are growing and will begin school. Jake will attend kindergarten (as many of you have heard me crying and whining about endlessly) and Joshie starts pre-school. This change is ripping my heart into tiny little pieces because I am watching them grow up. For five years I have protected and watched over and loved my child to the best of my ability. Now, society says I must turn him over to a public school where I have no control over the teachers or how they will treat him, or the children he interacts with, for the majority of his days, five times per week, for the rest of his 18 years in the world, maybe longer.
So, after orientation this week, when I met his teacher and found her distant and cold; saw the huge yellow school bus where his head would barely reach the edge of the window to wave good-bye to me; saw the chaotic cafeteria with monstrous long tables and lines of food where he wouldn’t eat anything anyway, I told my husband I was going to begin home schooling.
He didn’t take me seriously, but I have already begun my research.
I know flocks of mothers have felt like me, but why does society laugh at them and pat their head with patronizing smiles and tell them everything will be ok? What if it won’t? What if he hates school and the institutionalization of society stifles all of his uniqueness and creativity in an effort to make him conform to “normal” standards?
I am now 40 years old. Well, almost. I am happier than I was a decade ago, but somehow my body doesn’t agree with that statement. The eight pounds I have gained through my love of ice cream and skipping the gym has molded to me like krazy glue and refuses to be shaken off. I am suddenly in high risk factors and at my normal physical; I was bullied into an array of new “baseline” tests because basically, everything is going downhill from here. Including things that used to be quite perky, like my boobs and backside. My diet needs to be more carefully structured, I tire more easily, and I now have to battle both acne and wrinkles. I am beginning to realize what a jokester God truly is. Your mind grows sharper and more focused, growing with leaps and bounds full of wisdom. Your body turns and retreats in the opposite direction. Such the cliché, “Youth is wasted on the young.” What I would do for my mind now in my awesome twenty year old body.
I used to love my job. I went to work and kicked ass. Tired, worn out, yet feeling proud of my accomplishments, my work was a part of who I was, even though I struggled with the time constraints of writing and raising a family. Now, the joy has been sucked out of my days, and I am moving to part-time. I am looking forward to more personal, quality time but the huge cut in pay will force some serious decision making regarding every financial choice. Oh, if only things had remained the way they were! But as so many have reminded me, with change – good and bad- comes a fork in the road and always growth. My gut is saying it is time – there is something around the next bend but I must have faith it will all work out. My family will prosper throughout the hurdles, my work will remain true no matter what the format, and life will go on.
So, fellow readers and writers, let’s hold on for the ride, because hopefully, it will be a long one.