Who Am I?

My last blog as all about the numerous transitions happening in my house. My son turned 18, went to a once a week prophy dosing (completely independent!), is getting ready to graduate from high school and soon will be leaving for college. Yikes!
I am so often reminded lately of this quote that is 110% true but so difficult to accept at the same time: “To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you’ve done your job.
They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.” That is really our goal as parents, isn’t it? To raise our kids to leave the nest, be independent and successful.
I was talking with another mom whose son just finished his second year of college. She was so understanding of the difficulties I’m having with this whole transition. She said, “it’s just like when they were babies and you had to let them cry it out in their crib.” At that moment, I figured out the problem. I never let him cry it out in his crib. Kinda kidding…
I am equally as happy for him and his new adventures as I am sad for myself. Which leads to my question: Who Am I? When you get married, you get all kinds of advice. One common piece is to keep dating your spouse. Make time for yourself and yourselves. That may be hard to do under any circumstances, particularly with a newborn. But when you have a newborn that has a serious chronic medical condition, that you had basically never heard of, do you really think about making time for yourself and yourselves? To go on date nights when you are really just trying to survive.
While I do not regret any decisions I made, in what I did with my time, I’m now realizing I need to figure out what to do with my life, and time, with my son not consuming a large portion of it. What is it I like to do? What is it that my husband and I might want to do together?
I will admit that a few times over the last 18 years, I have told my son that the world does not revolve around him. We were having a conversation recently about what I’m going to do when he’s gone and, in the sincerest way, he told me that I needed to have my own life, that my life doesn’t revolve around him. Oh but it has!! I feel like my complete identity is defined as being “Nick’s Mom”. And that’s great until Nick doesn’t need his Mom quite as much as he used to.  Who am I now?
So now I’m trying to take on that sometimes-uncomfortable task of figuring that out. I know I will never be crafty. I’ll never knit. I’ll never sew. But other than that…???
I came across another quote while writing this, that struck me: “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  George Bernard Shaw
I’ll be back. I’m going to go work on creating myself.
Tracy, her husband, Lance, and son, Nick, live in Virginia.
Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.