Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul,
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul!
This nursery rhyme, chanted many times when I was a child, now describes my mixed feelings as I reach that long awaited and secretly feared day when the last two of my three children leave home.With them being twins, the two of them graduate at the same time and will start their lives as young adults soon. While on the one hand I encourage them to go and conquer the world out there, on the other hand I want to still keep them safe and within easy reachable distance!
How do I let go of :
Twenty eight years of always being needed, always being the glue that kept their lives together, always picking up the pieces, be it pieces of broken toys, dirty laundry or pieces of broken hearts.
Twenty eight years of being a mother, caregiver, counsellor, friend and even at times the big bad enemy.
Twenty eight years of joy at seeing firsts in their lives, from the first smile, word, steps and the first day at school to the last.
Twenty eight years of worry when they had high fevers and childhood illnesses, friend and boy or girlfriend problems, study woes and late nights out when I did not know if they were safe.
Twenty eight years that flew away like Peter and Paul as if in an instant, never to be repeated again!
Ahead of me now lie either empty sad years, or years full of new and exciting experiences. The choice is mine to make.
So here is my choice:
I look forward to maybe not another twenty eight but maybe if I am so blessed,
Fifteen years of cultivating new and old friendships with other people in the same life phase as me.
Fifteen years of learning new skills, practising new hobbies and interests.
Fifteen years of companionship with my husband, spending time together, traveling, going out without worrying about children at home, reading quietly together or even just sitting together without talking.
Fifteen years of enjoying seeing my children build and live their lives, knowing that I have given them the best that I was able to.
Fifteen years of maybe seeing grandchildren grow up without being the primary responsible person.
In short life does not end when Peter and Paul flies away, it just changes and I can and must adjust to the change in as positive a way as I can.
Then I know Peter and Paul will come back to visit their hopefully still interesting and positive mother and father.
After all as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 states, there is a time for everything, so I will embrace the time I find myself in.
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.