For someone that is paid to speak and present and blah blah blah…I’m feeling out of sorts today. For the first time in a very long time I wrote a long missive, spilling thoughts that are tumbling about, emotions and feelings that have me on the edge, revealing insecurities, longing and a desire to hear assurances. Where is this coming from? Is it the convergence of everything? Is it the disconnection that feels like a new normal and unsurmountable? I don’t know. But for the first time in a long time I’ve written one of those missives. The one in which it’s so raw and real that it frightens you to reread it. And so it sits, unsent, in the drafts folder.
IHAA reached out via email recently and I realized that I’ve been silent, not by design but by circumstance. While Lady M is traveling, I admire that she posts regularly and even the Awesome Ann keeps up a consistent stream of consciousness. I am inspired and just a little bit envious that they have the time, no, strike that, find the time to write.
I’m embarrassed just how many drafts I have in the drafts folder. Truly. Embarrassed. I could blame it on the current work projects that are about to converge, one of which is yet another restructuring (another word for layoff’s), the ongoing journey of our marriage counseling, treatments that have started up again, kidlet #1, kidlet #2, volunteering, etc. etc. etc.
But when I look closely, there are only so many hours in a day and my lack of time is my own damn fault. I took on the lead role for two of the projects at work as well as a senior year parent project at my kidlet’s school. Yes, I looked at the calendar and saw that they would all be running concurrently and due around the same time. Did I care? No, of course not. No one else was stepping up so why not me? Did I stop to think that there may be a reason why people didn’t want to lead any of the projects? Sure, but I figured what the heck, I lead projects all the time right? *sigh*
About three and a half months ago I wrote a post about the trials and tribulations kidlet #1 and her peers were experiencing being in their last year of school, applying to colleges etc. and how I don’t remember it being as much of a full-time job as it is for kids today. Looking back, I was wrong. It is not only hard. It is a massive pain in the ass.
And then there’s the anxiety that comes with all of it. Seventeen year olds running around, stressed out and figuring out where they are supposed to go in life. They are stretching, feeling their way. In some aspects, incredibly independent and sure-footed and in others, still very much a child. Needing, wanting the reassurances that they took for granted now and again. It’s an interesting time to be a parent. Especially if the very things that make you crazy and ready for them to go off to college, are the same traits you know will help them succeed when they are on their own.
I haven’t written about it a lot on this blog, but kidlet #1 had a life changing medical event occur just over two years ago. I’ve blogged extensively as it was happening but suffice it to say, it’s come with some ongoing challenges that she has to work with and around. She’s also had to readjust how she sees herself and what she judges herself on, her goals and dreams. It’s reflected in the schools she decided to apply to, her determination to complete the process for one of our nations service academy’s, even in the likelihood that she’ll be disqualified due to the medical issues.
Once she received her first college acceptance letter, along with a rather generous scholarship I thought we could take a collective breath. A sigh of relief. As in “yes, see, you are going to college honey.” The key word being thought. I understand that the now 3 schools that have accepted her are not in her top tier, but really, she’s going to be going to school, in the geographic region she wants to, it’s just a matter of which school at this point in time.
DH has tried to temper our ongoing arguments, between kidlet #1 and me, the tension between getting homework completed and prioritizing all of her extra curricular activities. The tension between a hormonal, smart, 17-year old and that of a hormonal, not as smart, 48-year old. Not an easy place to be for DH, at all.
When I met Lady M a few weeks ago, it was because I was in a city with said child for her to be recognized for a national award. Lady M was awesome, asking me if I was proud. Well, yes, of course. But the reality is, as a 17-year old she will be even more insufferable. Ugh! Don’t misunderstand, she is a good, well-rounded kid, growing into a better young adult. But that’s not the 17-year old that DH and live with everyday. We get the 17-year old that is safe in being her unreasonable, teenage self in the safety of her home with her parents and her (poor) younger brother.
One of the parents sent this video around earlier this week and the “reply all” was swift. On one hand we can’t wait until the fall and the next step in their journey and on the other we are coming to grips with the fact that they aren’t so little anymore.
It’s the kiss that many don’t believe exists. While attending a fundraising event that another friend is the chair of, the frenemies and I were reminiscing about first kisses. At various stages of one’s life. Whether it’s that first innocent kiss when in grade school and a crush steals a kiss (or you do) on the cheek. Or middle school and the first game of spin the bottle, or even that first awkward kiss when someone leans in for a kiss you weren’t expecting. And then of course the memories of those first kisses when in high school and in the throes of first love or the teenage hormone fueled years to those first months in college. At some point, the memories became more current if you will, in the more recent past than distant.
One of the women, sobbed that she has never had a first kiss, or any kiss that felt like *that*. Everyone immediately tried to make her feel better by saying things like: “oh i’m sure you have, you might not remember it”, or “surely that’s what you experience with sam?”, “it doesn’t mean you don’t love sam.” to which she sobbed again and said “no, it’s not that. it’s that I don’t know what that feels like. maybe it doesn’t exist.” After closer introspection, and that extra glass of wine, some of the frenemies spoke candidly about kissing. Many of them don’t like it, not at all . It isn’t their spouses or significant other but something that they just don’t enjoy. A couple of women said that they like kissing but their partners don’t. None of what we were saying made Heidi feel any better.
Later, after the topic had changed and we were all involved in various, separate conversations, I found myself alone with Heidi, she wasn’t crying any longer but she was subdued and an air of melancholia was all about her. Emme went to use the restroom and Heidi looked over at me and asked me point blank if I’ve ever experienced that kind of first kiss, the kind that brings to home how lonely you were until that point. I don’t know Heidi well, she’s part of the frenemies from well before I met them, but in that moment I understood exactly what she was asking. What she was searching for. I took a deep breath, looked her straight in the eye and said “Not in my entire life. Until a few years ago.”
She put her head in her hands but I could still hear her utter “I thought I was the only one.”…