That reminded me of parenting. At least, parenting for me. I know we never FINISH being a parent. We will always want to guide, help, protect our children. That will never change.
But in my case, I am coming to the end point of a particular part of the road with my Awesome Teenager. He is almost seventeen and will be finishing school in just over a year. He has plans. This kid has serious talent. I always knew he was good at drama, was a goofball and could make people laugh. But recently I have realised, he is a very, very good actor. His aspirations for a career as an actor or a drama teacher are his for the taking. And perhaps that road will take him far away from me. He is almost not 'mine' anymore. I must release him out onto the road. Alone.
Then, I have my little boys. They are just beginning. When THEY are almost seventeen and thinking about what they want to do with their lives, I will be fifty five years old. I am not sure how to feel about that. I thought I was done at being a mother. I thought my Awesome Teenager would be an only child forever.
But the universe had other, glorious ideas for me. It tore me down to bare dirt and then it showed me the road out, past the road blocks, past the car wrecks. I was given a second chance. My awesome teenager (who was then an awesome eleven year old) and I stood on the side of the road, stuck out our thumbs and when my Lovely Husband stopped and said, "Jump In!" I said, "Where have you been all my life?" He said, "Sorry, it took me a long time to get here. I came from far, far away. The roads were rough and hard for me too. But I draw Maps... so I will never lose you. "
The universe is cool.
Like that roadwork crew, I got (almost) to the end and then I went back to the beginning and started over. Sometimes I struggle with having been a very young mother, and now being an older mother. Where is my time in all of this? When do I get my time? Where is my special turnoff on the road. The one that leads to me? Where is my reward for all the frickin' roadwork?
But you know what? It's ALL my time. It's all OUR time. Me and my Lovely husband and my three sons. (I am in serious danger of taking this 'road' metaphor tooo far, but Whatevs.) We are all on this road together. And it is never finished. We are making it as we go.