Last days

This week’s ‘Remember the Time’ Blog Hop theme is last days.

Remember the Time Blog Hop

There have been many last days in my life, yet none of them stand out in my memory. At the time I was aware that they should be significant and tried to accord them the importance they seemed to deserve. Now though, looking back, I cannot recall the detail of what I did. I was living for the future, looking forward, eager to move on.

On my last day at primary school there were pupils who cried because they were sad to be leaving the teachers who had cared for them, the community they knew. I had the prospect of moving up to secondary school in my sights, I had no regrets about saying goodbye.

On my last day at secondary school there were so many pupils hugging and reminiscing about their days together and how they would miss seeing the friends who had become a valued part of their daily lives. I was looking forward with eager anticipation to escaping the uniform and seemingly pointless restrictions; the freedom of university beckoned.

I do not recall any students that I knew who felt sad on their last day at university. We had jobs organised, new careers to look forward to and were pleased to be putting exams and timetables behind us. I was finally leaving my homeland for the life in England that I had been planning for so long. I was filled with excitement and nervous anticipation as I contemplated the wonderful path my life could now to take.

And then there was the day before my wedding, my last day as a single lady. I had no wish to have a Hen Night, I wanted to get married, my wedding day was party enough.

The last night before I became a mother may have been significant but, as anyone who has been blessed with a straightforward pregnancy and birth can attest, by that time getting the baby out was all that I desired. No prospective mother can understand what lies ahead, the changes that are about to happen. I did not think of the years of sleep I was about to lose but of the joy of holding my baby in my arms.

Each time I left a job I had another to look forward to. I had made a choice and was eager to move on. The detail of each of these last days has faded from my memory as I did not mourn a loss but looked forward to what was to come. This has been how I have lived my life: looking forward, eager to move on, happy that change was happening.

Now, however, I am living through last days and I am not so sure of how I will be when they end.

Motherhood has been the most challenging and rewarding job that I have done. Yes that is cliched, but also true. I love being a mother. God willing I will be a mother for the rest of my days, but my days of mothering are coming to an end.

I have raised my three kids to the best of my ability. I have done what I can to instil knowledge and values in them that will make them kind, caring, competent, responsible, thoughtful, useful citizens. I have encouraged them to ask questions, to look at alternative points of view, to accept difference with grace whilst remaining true to their own, considered beliefs. I have done my best to raise my kids to be individuals, to be themselves in the face of a society that seeks to homogenise all. I have done my best to raise my kids to be independent, resolute and self reliant.

If I have done my job well then they will go out into the world with no need for me.

And we are almost there. We are living through those last days. Now, when I try to mother them, I am considered an interference. They want me to leave them alone to make their own decisions. They have a better understanding than I of the lives they are living day to day and where they wish to go from here. They are capable of considering their options and making good decisions on their own.

When a path is to be chosen it is good to mull over possibilities. We will each choose those we trust and respect to advise us when that is what we require. Others, who take it upon themselves to offer unsolicited advice, are an irritation. Just because we mention a decision that has to be made, it does not mean that we wish to listen to an opinion about what we should do. My children may keep me informed but they do not always want me to get involved. There is a fine line between offering support and interfering.

I am finding these last days hard. Perhaps it is because I cannot yet picture where I will go from here. Of course it will be lovely to be able to spend more time alone with my husband. I have many interests and activities to which I would like to devote more time. These last days differ from those which have gone before though because the path beyond is so wide and unclear.

I hope that I never stop learning, there is still so much out there to explore. Just as my children have the rest of their lives in front of them so do I, so do we all. I can use that time to grow as a person if I put my mind to it. These last days make me feel sad because I am losing the close bond that has tied my children to me for so long, that has given my life purpose and so much pleasure. I know that I must let them go, that I have no choice.

I have taught my children to fly and they will, ultimately, leave the nest that I have built and tended so carefully for their comfort and safety. When they go though, I too will have the option to spread my wings. It is that which I must remember.

These last days will pass all too quickly, but life goes on. For me, it will only be as good as I choose to make it.

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Read the other posts in this Blog Hop by clinking on the link below. 

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7 comments on “Last days

  1. Such an interesting perspective for me since I’m just at the beginning of raising my three little ones who are 7, 4, and almost 2. I yearn for those days when they are all raised, and my work is “done” but the truth is, they will need you again at some point. I am 36, and sometimes, I still want my mom when things get hard. They will too!

    • zeudytigre says:

      I would like to think that they will come to me when they need support, comfort or affirmation throughout their lives 🙂 For now though, life with teenagers is a constant flexing of freedoms. By trusting them and letting them go out into the world, I can only hope that they will choose to come back from time to time.

  2. I was away yesterday, but as co-host, today I am getting to soak in all of the wonderful posts in this week’s collection! Your post really touches a nerve for me, as I am in just the same spot. Frankly, I think I’ve written a glut of “almost empty nest” posts recently, but it is such a HUGE stage in our lives, as mothers, that it’s hard to not be focused on this place where our roads change direction. I recently wrote an Open Letter to My (almost) Grown Children… addressing this idea that even as their roads are expanding and changing, so are mine… as a mom who is looking at what’s ahead and what I want to do. This is beautiful writing; deeply stirring and special. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The Waiting says:

    Sometimes I try to wrap my brain around the part of life you’re currently on the brink of, and when I do, I simply cannot imagine my little one being almost grown up. It certainly must be a foreign, strange feeling to know that the little people we’ve been in charge of for a huge bulk of our lives are about to leave the nest. It kind of makes changing diapers seem like nothing at all.

  4. I love how you’ve lived your life with such a positive, forward focus! It really hits us when our babies are set to go, though. Been there, done that, and, from the sound of all you’ve put into them, it will be okay. They’ll be off on their own for a while and then they will rediscover you, and you’ll have a whole new and wonderful balance. Chin up, well, except when you’re writing, it’s hard to not look down at the keyboard occasionally, 😉

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