Changes have occurred, not as large as last year, but still on a scale to rock a few hills. Our son moved out, so for the first time in six years, it’s simply the husband, me, quilts, sports, tunes…. Okay, it’s not a silent, empty residence, but it’s altered, in part that now the rooms shake with melodic reverberations from early in the morning. There’s no one I need to be still for, once my hubby is out the door. There’s no one here but me.
I haven’t been a stay at home mom for a long time; that ended when our youngest left for college. But a year later, she and our son came home, and for five years that middle child lived with us, often in his own world, but sometimes engaged with ours. He has Asperger’s, and while he’s on the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum, it’s taken a while for him to stretch those wings and fly on his own.
Now that he has…. Jeez, it’s like he sat down with us for dinner every night, like he plopped onto the sofa for whatever game was televised, like he chatted with me from morning till night. He did none of those things, yet we saw him every day. Every day he was here, in our lives, not in a manner we imagined when he was little, but in a way as unique as he is.
And now he’s living hours away. My goodness, that’s hard to believe. It’s like accepting my grandkids aren’t babies anymore; Little Miss just turned one, and like her cousin, she’s fast on her feet, not waiting for the world to catch up with her. She has a soft voice, unlike The Burrito, well, most of the time. Sometimes she gives it up for a crowd, but at just twelve months, there’s much for her to learn.
My husband and I never compared our kids when they were little; they were three very different souls, and while they still are, they’re no longer our babies. I’m now the family facilitator, what I said at Little Miss’s party when the question was asked of how I spent my time. A writer, quilter, familial organizer, which prompted a laugh, but thankfully I didn’t have to explain what being the mom of an adult autistic son entailed. Or what it brought out of me over the years, whereas now the stillness around me parallels the quiet that roared over the last five years, but for one notion.
I truly am alone.
Not that I’m complaining, please don’t misconstrue. I am so blessed to have these hours, utilized in a variety of manners, from keeping house to plying my passion for prose to sewing. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel when I consider my…. It’s a job, unpaid but well compensated, and not merely in the books, blankets, and time spent with grandkids, or the hours I had with my dad. It’s about embracing the life I have been given, sometimes with rough edges, knowing they are smoothed out by grace. Occasionally my husband joked that our son was going along with us wherever we retired. But no, he has another path to follow. And mine, for now, remains here in Silicon Valley within a new domicile, although we haven’t had to up sticks.
But his room will undergo a few changes; we’ll paint, and I’m thinking light blue. A second quilt wall will decorate the west wall, probably after the painting, or maybe not, hehehe. While I could have used that large of a wall for my Big Bright Quilt, other projects will benefit from the elbow room, as well as the afternoon light. My writing/sewing grotto will remain right where I’m sitting in it now, but having a little more design space is a delight. And a good way to use that room when visitors (mainly grandbabies) aren’t visiting.
They are still babies, even if both are nimble on their toes. And while our son tried giving us back his house key, we refused. It’s still your home, we said, totally unaware of how strongly his absence would affect us. As we drove away, having made sure he was fairly settled in his new digs, we both kept feeling he was at home, like he always…was. He used to live here, but now he doesn’t. I don’t need to leave a note, don’t have to buy pretzels or pizza ingredients or the occasional bag of gummy worms. Well, I did buy one bag, as we’re off to see him this weekend, taking with us what didn’t fit in my car when he moved. But grocery lists are altered, as well as my heart. And my occupation. I’m not a stay at home mom anymore. I’m a writer, quilter, and a….
Hmmm…. I guess I need to let the dust settle and ponder that some. Because not even family facilitator works. All my kids are managing their own routines. In the interim, I’ll get back to the projects at hand; mulling over Part Eleven of The Hawk (which I hope to be begin writing in a couple of weeks) and producing some potholders for one of my other kids. As those come to fruition, maybe too will emerge a sense of who I am now, what with it just me, (novels) myself, (quilts) and I to amuse….