Monday, August 12, 2013

Keep calm and...worry on

I've been trying to shake a dream I awoke from this morning.  It was one of those typical school anxiety dreams, but this time, Maryn was at the center of it instead of me.  I dreamed that I was sending her off for her first day of school.  We got to the school and waited with a group of other kids her age, and then she followed them onto a school bus.  As she got on, she was so happy she was dancing, and she turned around to give me a big smile.  I got in my car, thrilled by her excitement, until I happened to think, "Why were they getting on a bus?  I took her to school!"  But the bus had already pulled away, and I was frantic, wondering where she was heading, and fearing that her joy would soon turn to panic.  In my dream I called the school to get some answers, but no one could understand me as I was crying.  I somehow thought the bus was taking her to a daycare at the church where my husband had worked previously (which is another whole bag of anxiety).  I felt that I had failed her and myself.

It doesn't take much analysis to understand the root of my fears.  In a couple of weeks, my baby will be going off to school, beginning the process of separation for the one who has clung so tightly to my heart.  I have no doubt that she will transition much easier than me.  My fear is not how she will do, but how I will juggle my responsibilities and be present for her in just the right ways to encourage her joy and ease her fears.  At the same time, school will begin for me on two different levels.  Hollins students will be returning soon, and there's always the chaos and buzz of settling back in, trying new things, meeting new people, having lots of fun, and working way too many hours.  I'm also applying for a doctoral program that would begin next summer, even as I question how I will handle the pressing demands that already threaten to wear me down.

It is the inevitable phase of life where there are many new beginnings, which also signal the ending of what is familiar and safe.  I have to let go of my control and trust that my babies will be cared for and nurtured even when they are away from me.  I have to put myself out there in my work and trust that the results will be worth it.  It's enough to startle me often out of reverie of normal life into that seize of panic...What am I forgetting?  What if I fail?  I struggle so hard with the issue of being in control, only to learn over and over again how little control I have.  The faith part of the journey has been in realizing what a gift that is.

In my online devotional this morning, there was this prayer:

Dear God, in the endings, show me the beginnings. In the beginnings, help me let go of the endings. Through it all, open my eyes to the renewal. Amen.

Amen, indeed.


  1. Oh Amen amen and amen. I send child 2 off to college as I've begun the last 4 years of highschool homeschool with my youngest. The eldest is in her senior year at college. You'd think I could emotionally whip this tiger but I find myself standing at the kitchen window choking back the tears. This is a GOOD thing I remind myself, a NECESSARY and RIGHT thing. But change is hard. So please Lord, show us all the beginning on the other side of the endings. Bless you!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Loretta. As much as I've known from the beginning that this whole parenthood thing is an exercise in letting go, it's still an emotional punch every.single.time. Prayers and blessings to you on your new beginnings.