Monday, June 6, 2016
#MicroblogMondays: Parenting transitions
I have to admit that while never a day goes by that I'm not thinking about infertility, pregnancy loss and/or involuntary childlessness in some way or another, it has not been dominating my thoughts and emotions lately in the way that it once did. Blog posts haven't been as quick to pop into my head lately. In part, I suppose it's because I've had plenty of other stuff to occupy my mind these past few months (and how...!! lol). In part, I think it's the regular ebb & flow of blogging inspiration at work. I also think that enough time has gone by that ALI-related matters have lost a lot of their sting. They're always there, of course -- lurking in the background, sometimes surging into the forefront with unexpected ferocity. But the hurt is not as constant nor as overwhelmingly painful as it was in years past. Progress?
I guess it's also because my identity as a bereaved mother is in transition these days. When I used to think about Katie & what she'd be doing (and what I'd be missing out on, as her mother), I always had a pretty clear picture in my head. I had yardsticks to measure her progress by: she'd be in Grade 1, 2, 3 and so on, and I'd look at the kids around me to get an idea of how big she'd be, what her interests might be, what she'd be studying in school and so on.
She'd be a big girl now, probably as tall as she was ever going to get, almost a full-fledged adult -- graduating from high school in a few weeks, off to university this fall, "legal" (gulp) in some provinces. From here on in, the picture in my head of who my daughter might have been is going to start getting fuzzier, I think. I can imagine what university she'd be at, what she'd major in, what kind of boys she might be dating, what kind of a career she might be interested in -- but I will never KNOW, in the same way that I KNEW she'd (most likely) be in this or that grade and probably reading Harry Potter because three other 12-year-olds I know were too.
The parents around me with kids who would have been Katie's peers are bemoaning their upcoming empty nests. Their kids are growing up & away from them. My nest has never NOT been empty, but I am facing the same kind of transition in my relationship with my daughter too. She would have been getting older, growing up and away from me (as it should have been).
And I AM getting older.
My high school friends and cousins are becoming grandparents. I'm already retired (early & not by choice), and more of them are starting to join me. My home life has been in transition for months, with the move to a condo, old furniture being sent to the thrift store and new furniture being delivered to take its place. My body is in transition too, with menopause seemingly just around the corner (finally!! -- why couldn't I go through it at 50, like everyone else??!).
It's sort of weird to have so many things in flux at the same time, but I guess that's life for you -- always throwing you curveballs, always changing.
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.