I realized something yesterday. In 6 months, my youngest child, my baby, Jack, will be leaving the nest for the Air Force. He will be starting a new life. His life, his future. Where did the time go? How did he get so grown?
Because I am the mother of 7 children, my life has been filled with diapers, schedules, feedings, sleepless nights, cleaning up messes, wiping snotty noses, singing softly to a feverish child, attending school functions, with a baby or two on my lap, driving in traffic with screaming babies, endless laundry and, dreaming of the day when they would grow up. Somehow, someway, they all grew up. Now, they are well functioning young adults. They all are responsible, respectful, career driven, self supporting people. And, I am their Mother. Surprise. We made it. There were times that I even wondered if we'd make it.
To look at my children today makes me proud that I am their Mother.
And now? Now the time has come for the youngest to go out on his own. I don't know how I will handle it in 6 months. I have NEVER lived alone. Never. I have always had a child or two (or three, or four or five.......) that have been dependent on me. I was always MOMMY. What will I become now?
In the near future, I will become a MOMMY again. Only this time, it will be to my husband. He will depend on me for everything. I will change diapers, schedule feedings, wipe his snotty nose, have sleepless nights and wonder if it will ever end.
Only this "end" will not be one of pride and happiness. It will be one of sorrow and heartache. All the "good" I do for husband now and in the near future will be for nothing. Instead of preparing him for life, I am only making what time he has left, comfortable.
I am a strong woman, I know that now. To raise 7 children in at times, difficult circumstances was hard. We have gone through a lot, those kids and I. But, to do this? To have to be "Mommy" to your husband? I often wonder if I can. Can I? Am I really that strong? Will I care for him the way he deserves to be cared for? Has God been preparing me all these years for what is to come?
I have no answers today. I only know that in 6 months, my child, my last child, will venture out into the world to begin his future. And I will prepare his father for his final journey.
And the circle of life continues.