For the past 6 years I have been a stay at home mom. The life I have created for myself revolves around getting children to and from school, filling the afternoons with art and trips to the park and more episodes of Wild Kratts than I would like to admit. It also revolves around the amazing, supportive, hilarious and vital group of women with whom I have become friends. We share the drop off and pick up responsibilities. We sit at the park in the afternoon and loose track of our kids because we are laughing so hard, and then laugh even harder when the children return covered in mud (if we're lucky - they have returned in covered in decomposing gunk, drenched in water, reeking of something unidentifiable both in oder and location). We take care of each others kids so everyone can make doctors appointments in the day and date nights in the evening. It is a happy and a truly content life that I have.
And I feel everything around me shifting. Not lurching with a ground-splitting shake, but with small tremors; the kind you are not even sure you actually felt once they have passed but which leave you the slightest bit unsure of the ground beneath your feet.
I realize that on a global scale my world isn't changing one iota. We are not fleeing civil strife, changing our family structure or experiencing major trauma. But little things are sliding around. Next year neither of my kids will enroll in the cooperative preschool which I have been a part of for 6 years. My son may go to a different school then most of his (and more importantly MY) friends. Jeremy's job is changing. Promotions, accolades, and amazing opportunities are coming his way (because he is super incredible at what he does) and will hopefully offer up the opportunity to spend a few months overseas each year but is currently taking up more and more of our time together as a family, leaving me worried that he will miss out on knowing the kids while they still want to hang out with us.
I am changing too. I am no longer a mom to babies or to toddlers. I am a mom to kids who have charge of their own locomotion. Who make their own decisions, their own friends, their own breakfasts. I have more space in my day where no one needs anything life sustaining from me, and I am starting to fill that time with things that sustain me: yoga, serving on the board of Planned Parenthood, some paid consulting work, and co-producing the Listen To Your Mother show.
It's all good when taken piece by piece, but when examined as a whole my legs feel wobbly and my insecurities surface making me want to desperately to take a hot glue gun to everything in my life and affix if where it currently sits. I will always spend Wednesday mornings, Thursday evenings, and innumerable other unplanned moments with my friends. My kids will always go to bed at 6:30 and love school. Jeremy will always be home either to tuck the kids into bed or to eat breakfast with them in the morning, and I will always be needed and sustained by all 3 of them, making it unnecessary to look any further than my own backyard for all that allows me to be, for the first time in 33 years, content.