A new chapter is about to begin! It's an emotional journey mixed with excitement, pride, a sense of accomplishment yet tempered with tearful moments. On Saturday my son will be moving into his college residence. My thoughts vacillating between stuff he needs for college and realizations the house will be without his laughter or, "hey Mom can you bring me something to eat". Loads of laundry will be less, grocery bill smaller and the kitchen less used. My list of reminders to him will be shorter. My time will be freer because the need for me will be less. For many mothers that is the hardest part, not being needed as much. Ironically that is what we are raising them to do, need us less, fly the coop, follow the pull of their own dreams. Writing their own book with new chapters the point to this joint journey.
One never knows how much or in what ways having a child changes a parent's life path. Certainly, Peter has been a gift beginning with a surprise pregnancy to his early arrival. There has never been a moment where I didn't want him nor did I feel he should fit into my life or schedule. I endeavored to create my life around my child's needs not as co-dependency but because I believe children need to be children instead of growing up too fast. It didn't occur to me in how many ways my life would change or that I would become a "Baseball Mom".
Parenthood has challenged me to be the best human being I can be. It helps me to open my heart more, to love more, to confront myself and my familial history. It forces me to face things that scare me or are painful. It gives voice to advocate through vigilance to stand up for what's in his best interest. Life isn't always fair parenthood seems to reveal the depths of strengthens and weaknesses. For me, it continually accelerates defining my own values and priorities, to make better use of my time and my sons. Parenthood gives me courage to better myself and to set examples providing stability and guidance. It can humble me into realizing I don't always have the answers. Mostly, parenthood teaches me daily to accept, give, receive and let go... the most powerful spiritual teachings of being human.
While I might cry here or there the next few days, it is with tremendous pride I help my son off to college at Mercyhurst University where he was recruited for baseball. Pete has worked so diligently to create the opportunity furthering his education and his passion for baseball. I will let go of the apron strings, easing off, filling my time with other endeavors all the while cheering from the sidelines. I know in my heart, Pete is following his life's path and I am so very proud that he has accepted moving forward with confidence, dignity and awareness. I think he will hit it out of the park writing his own book. Love you baby!
about the author: Karen Ollis is an experienced photographer specializing in studio portraiture, and environmental on-location portraits for editorial stories, PR and marketing testimonials. instagram @ollisphoto