Fading away

I am at a point where I know women at wildly different life stages, ranging from those preparing for the birth of their first child through to those awaiting great grandchildren.

Meanwhile, my children are teetering on the edge of adulthood and I am betwixt and between.

I have been waking in the morning feeling a little aimless and sad.

Motherhood feels like a Polaroid in reverse. Instead of eagerly watching the colours develop, they are fading away.

My kids are so eager for their independence and freedom. I know is the way of the world, but it’s a major recalibration.

The youngest has even turned up her nose at the offer of free holiday next year with her mum. (Although I suspect that will change when she is financially independent and understands how expensive holidays are.)

Just a few years ago, her favourite thing was to be glued to my side. I would have to prise her arms from around my neck when I said goodnight to her in bed.

Oh what I would give to have those arms tightly wrapped around me now.

I still get time with the youngest because I am the mum taxi, but she is counting down the days until she gets her driver’s licence in March. I will both welcome and mourn that milestone.

Meanwhile the eldest disappears for days at a stretch.

They are both fleeting shadows on the edge of my existence. I can count the minutes that I spend with them each day on my fingers.

I am glad that I downsized. I love my apartment and it doesn’t feel too empty with just me inside it.

I was telling my friend who is having her first baby that I can still remember the feeling of the hot skin on the eldest’s back in my hands as he lay howling in my arms as a baby.

I am not sure I could go back to that bit of the past. Caring for babies was not my strength, the unpredictability of it frightened me. I liked it more once I could talk to my children and they could talk back.

But I would give anything to be able to step back in time for an hour to play tip with them in the park or build sandcastles at the beach or hold their hands as I walked them to school. I didn’t appreciate how precious it was when they were little and carefree.

I even miss COVID-19 lockdowns a bit, when they got so bored that they would emerge from their bedrooms to watch TV with me.

As the sands in the hourglass of them living under my roof trickle away I worry that I am too consumed by my work.

When I tap away at the computer while one of them is in the room I worry that I should be making them my focus, not work.

The youngest is talking about moving out of Sydney next year to go to university. She will be gone very soon.

The years fly by way too fast.

Song of the day: Split Enz “Years go by”

5 thoughts on “Fading away

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  1. Beautifully expressed ! Feel exactly the same way. Even have a very similar photo of my daughter screaming like that at the same age. Mine are 19 and 20 and both away at uni. I’m loving it which surprises me. however, 20 minutes with them again as babies would be nice. No longer though!

  2. Oh Alana, this post made me teary. I’m beginning to see the start of the “pull away” from my son (nearly 15). We know it’s the way it’s meant to be but it’s still sad. I so get it.

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