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July 3, 2011

Happy Independence Day

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/happy_independence_day_20110703/

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Happy July 4th!  I feel very blessed to be living in the United States.  I am sending my very best wishes for health and happiness to all the troops who are serving here, and overseas.  The sacrifices they make are immeasurable, and my gratitude is boundless.

This year’s Independence Day is interesting for me.  I am feeling sad that my son is so far away.  I love him, and my life is defined by being his mother, so if he is not here, then what am I?  I’m feeling a little lost and at the same time it’s also quite liberating.

The first day he was away I almost called his friends to see if they needed a ride somewhere.  I went in his room looking for laundry, and for the first time was disappointed I did not find any.  I am wondering around my house not sure what to do.

I have a full life.  I love my work, my friends and my family.  I am many things in addition to being a mother, but that is the single most important job I have in terms of both the work, and the satisfaction.  I have raised a remarkable young man and it makes sense I would miss him.

My friends tell me I need to have fun and embrace the time he is away, which I understand, but I’m just not sure how to go about it.  I would rather hang out with him than anyone else.  We spend a lot of time together so it’s odd to do things, or even plan things, without him.

I am not calling him every five minutes, even though I want to hear every detail about every second of his day.  Instead, I am trying to let him have his time. I text on occasion, and sit by the computer on the off chance he wants to iChat.  Which we have done, and is wonderful.

Our cat Fiddles looks for him, which is so sweet.  She sleeps in his room and when I walk in she looks up to see if it’s him, and when it’s not, she goes back to sleep.  When I am in bed she will go into his room, look around, then settle on me as her second choice.  It’s all rather dramatic.

She will jump on my bed, give me a look that says, “Where is he?”, then collapse as if exhausted from searching for him.  When we talked on iChat yesterday I showed him to her and she stared. This morning I found her sitting on the computer chair waiting for him to appear.

I am going to take care of myself over the next few weeks.  It’s not about an independence day, as much as an independence month.  I will see my friends, go on dates, and take lots of yoga.  I will enjoy not having to do any schlepping, or massive amounts of laundry.

I miss my son so much it hurts.  I am counting down the days until he comes home.  I am going to be a grown up and embrace my independence, while also being a crying mess waiting for my baby to come home.  It just might take me a minute to find a balance between the two.

I wish you a wonderful holiday.  Say a prayer for the troops and be kind to a stranger.  To my beautiful boy, enjoy your vacation and build memories to last a lifetime.  I am blessed to be a mom, and to live in America.  Will I survive my temporarily empty nest?  I’m keeping the faith.

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