My youngest just got her driver’s license and bought her first car, all on her own, and I am so excited for her! Trust me, I have been waiting many years for this. I am not the least bit sad for the days when I had to rush multiple kids to multiple places, and they all had to be at their destinations at the same time. And I do not miss frantically cooking dinner and eating in the car. But something happened today that I didn’t expect, at all.
Most of you don’t know that I absolutely love to listen to music in the car. Loud. Um…very loud. It makes driving so much fun and traffic is no big deal because that just means I can listen to more music. Anyways, I came across some music that I hadn’t listened to in awhile. On my way home from work I turned the music on and was having the best time! Then it came on. That song. The song that my daughter and I used to belt out together in the car. So, I turned it up and commenced the singing. Well…it happened. Out of nowhere the floodgates opened. This took me by surprise. You see, I have always been a mom who has needed her space. I don’t have a problem whatsoever with my children growing up and moving out of the house. As a matter of fact, I greatly encourage it! But this right of passage that my daughter is going through signifies the closing of a chapter in my life. All of those car rides. Done. All of the duets, laughter, tears, heartfelt conversations, anger, frustration and even silence that could be experienced nowhere else but in the car. Done.
It also signifies the slow shutting of the “motherhood door.” I know that even when they grow up and move away, my children will still need me. But I am now entering a phase of my life that I have both looked forward to for a long time and am also sad to see that most of my job as a mom is done. You see, I have had different jobs over the years, but being a mom has been my chosen career. I have loved it with all my heart. Even the not-so-good parts. This is so cliche, but as long as some of those days seemed, it has gone by all too fast.
In this next year, every member of my family will be entering a new chapter of life. Everyone. All at once. It is all so very good. It is all so very right. I am looking forward to finally having some time for myself. But turning around and waving goodbye to all those years of raising children will be one of the hardest things I have ever done.