It ends

If you (or someone like you) had told me, in the midst of my children’s childhood, my children would be grown and gone someday I’d have called bullshit.

And I’m sure you (or someone like you) did tell me. But when you’re in it, it is all you know.

When you’re in it, there is now. There is this. There is laundry and dinner and bedtime and oh shit, you’re going to be late for school again.

There is what is this stain, how did this thing melt, what was that thing over there before a kid happened to it.

When it is happening, it is now. It is now and it is now and it is now and there is nothing else but now.

And then it ends.

This becomes then.

That overwhelming immersion in this is my life I am living it and it is busy but it is never boring and it is fun and frightening and glorious and heartbreaking and beautiful and a complete envelopment of you with your offspring and it feels like forever and so, so long.

And then they are gone.

Some of them will like you. Us. Me. Sometimes mine like me.

But, mostly, they are gone.

And you, us, we, are supposed to be happy about it. Rejoicing in a job well done.

Or, for some of us, a job done.

We are supposed to go back to being the separate, independent beings we were before them. If we don’t, it gets weird.

There are all kinds of classes for parents. Parents who are expecting, parents of toddlers, parents of preschool kids, parents of elementary school kids, tweens, teenagers, soccer players.

But there are no classes for “parents of children who are grown and raising children of their own”.

Unless therapy counts.

And, sure, people (who knows who) say, Enjoy the freedom. The You Time. The getting back to the core of who you were. But there really needs to be a class for parents learning how to stop being a parent.

And I’m going to use Newton’s first law of motion as my excuse for being inert.

An object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I am an object at rest without an unbalanced force in my vicinity.

Because, it fucking ends.

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Hansel's sister.

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