My new goddess crush Glennon says we have to face our pain. That’s tough talk for a gal who likes to push that ish all the way down under a box of Samoas and Bota box of moscato. We have to take that pain, she says, drink it in and let it transform us into wiser, stronger, better human beings. In that spirit, I’ll share my – not so surprising – fear here. I live in constant, paralyzing, gut-twisting horror of the year 2032. Why, you ask.
In the year 2032, my house will be empty. My chicks will be grownups starting to make their mark. The world will be bigger for them. They will be hitting their stride and scared out of their minds and settling into big loves that spark the biggest change in their lives.
In the year 2032 I’ll live with a deafening silence. The tiny heels I hear coming through the ceiling now, as they sail like superheroes off their bed will stop. There will be no more tip toes taking their 10 tiny steps down the hallway after a scary dream. The quarrels, the cries, the laughter, the make believe, will all be placed on a shelf, only to be brought down on holidays and Sunday dinners.
In the year 2032, each mess will be my own. New carpet will erase the purple nail polish stains. No one will steal my tape to decorate for their baby doll’s birthday party or spend hours cutting paper into tiny pieces, just because it’s pretty. My measuring cups and tupperware will stay compliantly in the drawers. The Nutella fingerprints along the countertop will just be yesterday’s sticky nuisance. No more smears from Sloppy Joan blowing raspberries on the chilled window pane, or splash marks around the garden tub.
In the year 2032, my sinks will be clean. The globs and streaks of blue sparkly toothpaste will be wiped away. I’ll have plenty of hot water. I’ll fill my bathtub to the top with steaming suds and soak to my heart’s content with no little visitors.
In the year 2032, my schedule will clear. I will long for someone to corral or cuddle or correct. I’ll miss the rushed braids and ponytails on the way out the door and tricky double knots. I’ll think fondly of tiny whispering pleas for donuts in my sleepy face on a Sunday morning and imagine the feel of their soft tiny hands folded in mine as I lead them down the trail.
But while my fears and psychosomatic aches fill these walls and crowd me in my bed, a dear friend brought a sobering bright spot. My friend Jackie, being the coolest mom on the block like she is, got her oldest daughter tickets to Hoodie Allen for Christmas. This is the only woman I know who could both sacrifice and magnify her street cred in the same evening. Dubbed “Mama Bear” by some of the young concertgoers, Jackie found herself an active participant and voyeur as her teenager came alive under a constellation of stage lights in a sea of her peers. Crawling out of her best-parent-ever high, she sent this text and I felt a tiny light flicker inside me …