Posted by: Jenny | September 8, 2013

Dreams & Change

Last night found me sobbing in the halls of Fishers High School….or was it Hamilton Southeastern High School….wait, maybe it was Terre Haute North High School. Well, it was one of the high schools that my kids attended, and I was crying because my youngest is a senior in high school.

It was just a dream, another instance of my brain hard at work while I sleep. Today, I’m left with an uneasy feeling in my gut. I’m really not that sad that it’s our last year with a child living at home. Really, I’m not. I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, the elusive “empty nest” that my friends crow about.

Or am I?

For years, my “empty nest” date was going to be 2008, when my third son graduated high school. Then, in 2006, that date extended by 6 years when I married my husband and took over the full-time mom role to 11-year-old Sophie. Ok, 2014, here we come!

This part actually happened: Last night, my husband, daughter, her boyfriend and two friends went to their high school football game. It was a special game, played at the Colts stadium, against a county rival. We sat in a luxurious suite, courtesy of a local college who gave away tickets to high school seniors in a recruiting effort to lure them to their school.

It was grand, watching the boys battle it out on the field that the Indianapolis Colts would play on the next day in their season opener. Sophie and friends chattered away throughout the game; my husband impressed me with his spooky (and accurate) predictions of plays; and we somehow successfully avoided the hard sell from the campus admissions reps.

All in all, a wonderful time, even if the game did go into three overtimes (but, we won). Maybe it was the combination of hot dog and ginormous chocolate chip cookie that caused my dreams to short-circuit last night; or maybe it was the fact that I was out way past dark, but my brain, in an effort to help me make sense of my life, turned the event into something else.

I dreamed that we were walking through the halls of….well, wherever…..and I panicked. I realized that my life of being a daily mom were coming to an end, and I started crying. Actually, I was sobbing, near hysteria, and didn’t care who saw it.

Yesterday, I awoke with a new “memory” of my buddy, Mark, who’s been gone 6 years, after a remarkably vivid dream. It made me cry, feeling grateful for the new memory and devastated again by the loss of my friend.

Today, I awoke feeling that I experienced the death of a time in my life when I was the most important person in the whole wide world to four precious children.  I am grateful for the memory we created last night at the football game – a real, true memory. But again, loss is elbowing its way into the gratitude, reminding me that things will never be the same.

Think I’ll take a sleeping pill tonight.

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