Monday, August 09, 2010

After the Ball

Paulie starts school today, and most of my friends are aware that I'm having a hard time with that.  I'm sure most moms think I'm completely crazy.

"You'll have the whole house to yourself!"
"You can do whatever you want!"
"You can have some Me time!"

I've tried to tell myself the same things, but for some reason, the thought of my last little bird leaving the nest fills me with dread.  I couldn't really figure out why until today.

For the past 10 years or so, Motherhood has been my life.  It's my job, my identity.  With an empty house and time on my hands, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.  I feel like Eliza Doolittle after her triumph at the Embassy Ball.  She found herself facing an uncertain future.  She knew she couldn't go back to the life she'd had before, yet she couldn't begin to imagine a place for herself anywhere else.

That's where I am right now.  I look into the empty hours ahead of me and think, like Eliza, 'What's to become of me?'  

I tell myself that there are lots of things I can do.  I can volunteer with something or other.  I can work on some projects that I've been longing to get busy on.  And I can actually sit down and write.  That's good, right? 

The truth is, I want to be useful.  I'm useful as a stay-at-home-mom.  Now that both boys will be in school, I still want to do things of value.  I don't want to sit and watch television (even though I'll finally be able to watch something other than "Yo Gabba Gabba!)  I want to be busy. Industrious. 

I know things will come along to fill my days.  There's always plenty of laundry.  Even beyond housework there is plenty to do.  Besides, as long as I have full pens and empty pages, these hands will never be idle.

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