Posted in College, Fragile Life, Insight, Mid-Life Mama, Milestone Moments, What's Next? (18 & beyond)

Losing my familiar

empty nestWhat is it about 3:30 in the morning?

Is it me or do others find themselves wide-eyed at the wrong time too?

Last night I woke in an unfamiliar place. (Inside and out.)

There I was, in someone else’s home, in some else’s bed, in someone else’s suburban neighborhood, outside of someone else’s city… only it was my son’s city now too.

We were there for parent weekend; we had been thrilled to come; THRILLED; but after we dropped my son back at the dorms that first night, everything felt wrong.

At 3:45 am, I ached for my own bed, in my own home, on my own dirt road, in my own rural community 200 miles away; but in the dark of the night I realized that it had become a stranger too.

My entire life had.

At 4:00 am, I considered re-arranging my bedroom once home so that my bed was facing south again; but even in my imagination, I knew it wouldn’t be enough.

I had lost my familiar.

There is something to mothering that steeps one in the familiar, in home, in the timelessness of connection and belonging.

As a child myself, I moved more than a dozen times so I never fully experienced this deep hold until my body became my baby’s.

Once he was beside me, I no longer relied on the company of my blankie which traveled across the country, and the sea, to be my home.

At 4:20 am, I considered the stretch of life ahead of me–without my son–and decided that it might be time to bring my blankie back to bed.

(ps. it’s actually 2 blankies and a stuffed puppy)

(And here’s a tune for all those seeking “home”

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Author:

Lifelong educator, writer, yoga & yogadance instructor.

2 thoughts on “Losing my familiar

  1. Hi Kelly,
    I was just re-reading a favorite old book, “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh & thought of you & this empty nest stage of life you & I are both experiencing.
    At the back on page 126 in the 50th anniversary edition, she says:
    “When a mother is left, the lone hub of the wheel, with no other lives revolving about her, she faces a total re-orientation. It takes time to re-find the center of gravity. ……”I am again faced with woman’s recurring lesson. To quote my own words, “woman must come of age by herself–she must find her true center alone.” The lesson seems to need re-learning about every twenty years in a woman’s life.”
    I found these words helpful & comforting. I hope they do the same for you.

    Like

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