Someone asked me today if being in labor was painful. I suppose if labor were so painful, women would give up having babies. So, no, I don’t remember labor being so painful.
Our son is 16. In just the past few weeks, his social life has exploded (in a good way). He’s leaving the nest. He’ll be at camp as a CIT this summer and undoubtedly will rarely – if ever write to us. Now he has his phone, so we suspect he’ll call. In our moments with him, he’ll talk about things that are happening in school, with his friends, with the group at church. But, in a matter of a few months, he’ll be driving. (Oy!) Having just one child, you go through every phase just once. We have tried to savor each moment or cheer that the phase has passed. There aren’t too many more phases we’ll be going through really. Now, it’s countdown to choosing a college and he’ll be off in just a matter of two years or so.
I said to my husband when we were planning a family, that my fear of having a child was that things would never be the same. I was so right. That has been a painful realization in some ways. Your relationship with your partner shifts to one that involves decisions based on the children; what’s best for them and setting aside your own needs and desires. Part of me wonders what things would be like without a child, but there is really no time to think that way. There is very little “child” left in our boy. He’s evolving into a young man with his own thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears that he will have to tackle day by day. Our role evolves into adviser and hopefully, friend. Yes, he’ll always be our son and we’ll love him forever. Now, the baby is long gone.
I do remember that pressure of child-birth – all 20 hours of pressure. Looking through the years, we have aged – gracefully, I hope – and look toward the newest phase: our life together as a 50-something couple and getting closer to being empty nesters. Oh my.