I was thinking this morning, as I headed home without a car full of Beasties and wondering what I would do with my free hours, that this too is a sort of mourning.
The way I feel right now.
Lost. At a loss.
Not a loss loss, of course, but, still . . . a loss.
My ways of being, almost my entire adult life up until now, has had a little one underfoot in some way.
I have only been backseat buddy-less for three years of my adult life. Do you know what that is like? To always look in the rearview and see a face beaming back at you? To always buckle someone else in first wherever I went? To sit in a car, parked in front of Target or Costco or a school, hoping my phone battery would out last a nap?
Now, instead of settling in for a few hours of Mickey and Jake, snacks dotted about the coffee table and kitchen counters, I leave my keys in the door in case the school calls.
On his first day of Kindergarten, I came home and stared at the wall for twenty minutes, not sure what to do with myself. Today, his third day, I drove home after drop off and sat in the car for fifteen minutes.
I am having to relearn who I am when I am not holding a hand or wiping a nose or promising just one more errand and we can go home, okay, baby.
And the house? The house feels it, too.
It's quiet aside from my constant stream of music to fill the empty spaces.
Toys aren't scattered five minutes after I pick them up. The dishes aren't filling the sink just as quickly as I wash them. The fridge isn't opening and closing all day long, the rattle of condiment bottles signaling a sneaky snacker.
There is a melancholy in my bones.
A hollowness I can hear in the silence of the house when no one is fighting over who has to put the dishes away or gets a turn on the XBox, when no one is knocking on the door when I am just trying to shower, good gods, can't I just shower.
And I know this new normal will feel just like old normal soon enough . . . just soon enough for our eldest Beastie to graduate and move that much closer to her dreams independent of us. And then there will be another new normal that settles in like a blanket, muffling the hollowness and warming the melancholy.
But . . . still.
Still, I'm not sure where my place in this new normal is just yet.