I thought I had it all figured out. How naive can a human mind be? I talked to myself for hours on end, arguing both sides of the debate, and then figured out some more sides to the whole argument. Analytical, super-foretelling me! Yeah, right! I mean, how could I think that I could foresee all possible situations? Generically speaking, specifics cannot be determined! No! Never! Who am I to demonstrate that being a parent can be easy when it’s supposed to be probably the most difficult task in the world. Really, how could I have ignored the kind of help there is available for parents when they face difficult situations? Why would handing out this help be such a profit-making proposition, if it were not so necessary, not so critical?
So simple it seemed. Let go. No one stays, no one will be there. So, you gotta be independent, expect them to not be there! But how do I do it day after day? So, what caused this mental fight to ensue in me? Why do I feel engulfed by these questions that hit me from all sides?
Here’s what happened.
Today, when my eighteen-year old (awfully young in my mind) said she wants to celebrate her first new year’s eve without me, I didn’t know whether I could just let her do that. I am sooo struggling to let her go. On one hand, I can totally understand her – who would want to be without their friends, not have that fun that her friends’ company would offer, and miss the chance to have the time of her life on New Year’s eve. On the other hand, is the mother inside me who rears her head, I think, quite selfishly. Selfishly, I want to hold my baby to me, and never let go. As a parent, I worry. So, I ask her for the promise, and she gives it totally unhesitatingly – she would not cross her limit of drinking. The minute she starts to feel the high, she’ll stop drinking, and on my way back from my party with my friends, I can pick her up. Looks like a pretty reasonable thing, doesn’t it?
Even the woman inside me, especially the single woman, is kind of looking forward to a party without my children. Then, I can simply look to enjoy myself, without any worries of my kids – did they eat, what did they eat, what did they miss, are they dancing, are they getting bored, are they surrounded by unsavory characters, are they ok? God! I really would never give it a break. And they were always so rolling-their-eyes tolerant of my super-mothering-hen kind of behavior. With them out of my sight, enjoying life at their own parties, maybe I can restrict myself to a few well-spaced out calls, and ensure that we all have a good time without stressing each other out. Then, I had the dilemma – what about my son! Without his sister for company, he’d be totally out of his mind at the party with me and my friends. So, he solves that problem so simply – he’ll spend time with his father and his father’s wife. He hasn’t met them for some time, and this would be a good time to make up for that. So, it all seems to be working out – isn’t it? So, why am I still nervous? Why am I still wondering if it’s the right thing to do? With or without me, my son and daughter want to have their own plans, and I can have fun on my own too. So, what in the world is wrong with me? Why am I over-thinking this?
Is it just that it will be strange to celebrate without them, or is it that I am wondering how people around me will look at this? Or is it that I’ll be pitied as the abandoned mother? Did I even give this a second’s thought when I decided to celebrate my new year’s eve without my parents for the first time? So, why it so difficult to let go of my kids, and let them have fun without me?