My son, Alec, is 20 and halfway through college. Now that he’s an adult, I think more and more about the effect my wandering spirit has had on his childhood. And the one thing that I tend to do an excessive amount of when I travel is...think. There’s a lot of downtime on the plane, and sometimes my brain can’t help but to travel through time. This past trip was so crazy, and overlapped with my move from Texas to California.
This time, it took me back to the moment I decided to move from Austin, back to Dallas - and then quickly back to moving from Texas to California. I’ve been all out of sorts the last several months. Steve and I decided at the end of last year that we were going to upgrade our place in California to a 2 bedroom so that I’d have more space to work. The decision was mutual, and the excitement definitely kicked in as we purchased new furniture and designed our new home together. Since then, I've created a pretty balanced lifestyle between Texas and California for myself.
But now I’m feeling gloomy. I'm all for changing my environment when I'm feeling stagnant, but I've moved 6 times in the last 7 years (more on why coming up in future posts). I think about my family and friends who've been living in the same place for over 20 years; the memories they've created for their families, the traditions that come along with it. There will always be a home for their children to return to for the holidays, to crash for the weekend, to bring their significant others and show them their childhood home. And then I reflect on my own life and purging and simplifying may seem cathartic at first, but I now wonder if it's left me a bit empty inside.
My condo ended up selling much faster than I anticipated. This meant Alec and I had to quickly pack up and figure out our living logistics along the way. Seems to be the story of our lives! He’s off from school for the summer and well, he doesn’t have a home to return to. I personally haven’t stayed “grounded” long enough to pull together all the details to make both our lives easier through this. And then the guilt kicks in. Yep! I felt like a horrible mother. Had I made the wrong decision? Will he look back and resent me for not giving him a home base? But you all may know the phrase, “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle”? He could not have done a better job of pairing me with this amazing, self-sufficient, intelligent, loving soul I call my son. He has been the one constant in my perpetual state of change. I do hope that all the changes will mold him into a strong, adaptable, adventurous young man as he finishes up the last half of his college years. And me, all I can do is continue to love, support and spend as much time as I can with him before he truly leaves the nest to create his own path.
I’m curious to know your thoughts. And do you have any mom guilt you carry around with you and would like to unload?