Can I handle the seasons of my life?
So sings my girl Stevie Nicks in “Landslide”. It’s funny how this song has meant different things to me throughout the different seasons of my life. I usually sail right through my seasons because I know there is nothing that can be done to stop them.
Unlike many, I look forward to and embrace my birthday every year — I love to celebrate that I will be another year older (certainly) and another year wiser (hopefully). New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday because it is the start of something brand new — a whole year that has promise and hope and change around every corner.
The season for me that has lasted the longest has been my season as a devoted mommy. All I really ever wanted in life was a family of my own to love. I wanted to have my kids young, I wanted at least five children, and I wanted to raise this brood as close to, if not right on, my family farm. They would play in the same yard I did, go to the same school, attend the same church, play sports, and cruise Main with their friends — just like I did. We would eat dinner every night at 5:30 p.m. and I would be the mom that helped with homework, sewing projects, 4-H, driving for activities — I would teach them to play the piano and sing; and well — clearly I watched entirely too many episodes of The Waltons growing up.
I had my babies young — I was blessed with two sons born within 14 months of each other. Since that snowy day in March of 1997 when I brought Son #1 into the world and into my heart and soul, my life has been built around my boys and what was best for them.
For many different reasons, the big family never happened for me, and I was a single mom for three years after I divorced my ex-husband (a very scary change of seasons). During those three years, my boys (ages 2 and 3 at the time) and I moved to a new house in a new town, we all started new schools, we made all new friends, and I married my current husband and my boys gained an exemplary stepfather.
I learned, and it was a hard thing to learn, to share my boys with their father and to be an effective co-parent. Mistakes were made along the way — mistakes are always made.
However, I learned from them and no matter what decision I was making, large or small, the decisions were built around my boys. Examples of these decisions included everything from what job I worked at, what hours I went to school, what car I drove, and who I chose to spend my time with. I’d been burned, so I was guarded with my time and even more guarded with any time I had with the boys.
I have been so lucky to have the relationships I have with my boys. We are a close, unified family and I am the one who has seen them through all of the seasons of their lives so far. They are handsome, witty, wise, worldly, kind, principled, informed, honorable young men.
I’ve done a good job; and, my job is coming to an end. They don’t need a devoted mommy anymore. What they need in me now is more of an advisory role.
They are the captains of their own ships now, I’m just the compass that helps to guide them along. Mistakes will be made along the way — mistakes are always made. Changes have already taken place.
College, graduations, new relationships, jobs for them and an actual career for me (finally!). My life may not be entirely built around them right now, but the foundation is solid and the walls have been not broken, just expanded.
The Landslide is here, and I don’t think I’m afraid of it anymore. There will be many more seasons of all of our lives, and I think we will all handle them just fine.