For a moment I actually considered it.
For five moments I considered it. I admit I’d spent the day in a perpetual state of “weepy,” particularly since I unearthed a stack of Polaroids of my younger son from a decade ago.
Cue the eye leakage. The occasional heaving sob. More eye leakage.
Then hours spent moving furniture (which I shouldn’t), rummaging files (which I should), breaking down on my bed (couldn’t help it), then chiding myself for doing so.
And thinking about that damn phone call.
It rang on the land line – unusual around here – as a sweet voice asked if I would host a foreign student – another Latvian, another whatever – and for a period that could range from several weeks to several months.
I didn’t stay on the phone long enough to find out which.
I accomplished my goal (two kids in college, pursuing what interests them), yet I’m dealing with the sensation of a slow free-fall off a steep cliff, heightened by brief periods during which I feel as though my internal organs have been ripped out of my body leaving a rather unsightly and gaping hole.
Very Alien, but a tad inconvenient.
Frankly, I’m not sure why. I was an older mother, very independent, and my children were never my entire universe. But they held court at its most tender center – all the more so because I’ve raised them on my own.
I have love to give, and I love to parent. Where do I put that love? Where do I put those skills?
There are now free “beds” as opposed to the Storage Closet Cum Mattress Turned Latvian Guestroom.
But I have work to do – facing myself as a single woman, determining what that singleness means, realistically approaching what I would like to accomplish, figuring out my money woes, dealing with back pain.
Breathing. Assessing. Positioning.
Shouldn’t we take a small measure of time to think, as we transition into new life stages? Isn’t that part of successfully managing change?
I cannot put a band-aid on the challenges ahead by obscuring them, even if that particular self-selecting subterfuge would involve hospitality, more children, and providing safe haven in some way. Among other things, I simply cannot afford it.
This isn’t about “finding myself,” but it is about facing myself.
Host a student? Take in a child? Under different circumstances, possibly. But for now?
Not an option.
- Do you know what you will do when your children leave the nest?
- If they have already, how did your life take on its new shape?
- Do you host students from other countries, or would you consider it?
- Have you turned to animals or nature to share your love and provide a home?