Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vacating My Post--Finally!

No, not my blog post.  Although I will be doing that too, tomorrow, but not "for the rest of [my] life," (as Humphrey Bogart's Rick warned Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa).  Just until next Wednesday.

No, the post I'm referring to--in the sense of "job, employment" that tells me is synonymous with "appointment, assignment, berth, billet, office, place, position, [and] situation"--is that of full-time mother.  I have occupied this post, up-close and from afar, on- and off-line, for more than thirty years.  Most of us who attain this position, whether through careful calculation and arrangement or, as in my case, by backing into it--not once, but three times!--never stop being mothers.  But I have been reluctant to stop mothering, more so than your average (Mama) Bear.  

Some would (and have) call(ed) much of what I've done smothering, or brand me with the disdainful sobriquet "helicopter mom."  I would (and have) counter(ed) that I have placed a high priority on parenting, and that my last two, in particular, have been relatively "high needs children."  School years and adolescence have been bumpy--to say the least--for my two-years-apart male offspring, the tag ends of a not-so-blended family.  Their older mom was "sandwiched" between their own and a geographically distant elderly generation of family members requiring major support.  And these boys both came with their own charming but challenging traits and difficulties.  It has not been The Brady Bunch, by any stretch of the imagination.

At twenty and breathing-down-the-neck-of-eighteen, however, they are as ready as any their age that I can imagine to spend several days on their own--in each other's company, even!  They can cook and launder their own clothes, if not clean up religiously.  One can drive the other to work, or to the emergency room.  A sister who won't hang up on them lives nearby.  There is food in the house.  The dog will get them up every day.  The setting and their own amazing maturity will keep them as safe in my absence as I can when I'm here. 

My nest is not empty--yet.  But I am the one leaving it.  For my own good, and theirs, and their father's.  But not for good.

Beginning to put to bed a long and (mostly) lovely part of my life. . .

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