04 Aug Who am I?
It’s Friday night. All my kids are home with me. I am happy. My sixteen-year-old is on the couch drinking a smoothie and watching The Office. My eleven-year-old and I just made some baked oatmeal to eat in the morning. My fourteen-year-old son is in the shower washing bleach out of his hair. Against my better judgment, I helped him slather bleach on his hair. We may be shaving his head later tonight – if he ends up with a crispy, orange hairdo. My husband is in his office working on a fun video from our vacation. While visiting our best friends in Illinois this week, their five kids and our three kids wrote a wacky script. Lee shot the video with his phone (he’s a ruthless director, by the way) and is putting it all together for them. All I know is it involves a rhinoceros and The Flash. Keep your eyes open for the YouTube link to show up on Facebook soon.
This happiness is real. Joy and contentment run through my veins.
At the same time, though, fear is bubbling out of my ears. I fear the future. I’m not necessarily worried about my kids’ well-being or their success and happiness. No, my dread is more centered on self. I am doubting my value, my worth, my place. Not being needed or wanted – it’s scary to think about.
It’s not like my kids are leaving me today. I’m years away from being an empty nester. My melancholy partly stems from my current job-hunting status. I haven’t worked full-time in seventeen years! The idea of a having a full-time job itself is not my problem – I have an education that is not being utilized, so it only makes sense to earn some cash. My problem, my issue, is my loss of self.
Who am I if not the mom to the resident little people, the one who takes care of everyone and everything in this house? Do I even remember who I was before I had kids? I wonder if my husband remembers. I wonder if he likes me, the me that’s not the mom of his kids.
Life evolves, and for the most part, we grow and mature as changes happen. But life is stinkin’ confusing and hard. Even when a celebration ensues, tears sometimes flow. Even during the growing season, things may die. Even when my heart is exploding with love and all the glory of motherhood, sorrow, anguish, and fear linger below my skin.