The year I was 8, my mom packed us up in the middle of the night and we left our life.
This decision changed the direction of our lives, in ways I don’t even think she knew or understood.
Leaving our home, her husband and our family in Illinois and moving to New England to be closer to my dad and paternal grandparents became the best thing she could have done for us. But I know the night we left, she was probably terrified and uncertain but somewhere in her heart, she knew she had to make a better life for us, somewhere else.
So she did.
And so the story goes. But all of the sudden, today I realize we inch closer to my little girl being 8. For me, there was life before and life after. So much of my childhood memories are trapped in these 2 worlds.
And for my sweet Saylor, she has entered a time of emotional heartache. A friend she adores has made other friends and my sensitive hearted girl feels a bit lost and lonely right now. This is a feeling I know too well. Loosing my way, feeling hurt, trying to navigate relationships and friendships in this world is hard. People change, friendships change and life goes on.
I hold her hand. I get in bed and wrap my arms around her shaking little body. I tell her I know how it feels to be hurt. To love someone who does not love you back, to loose a friend. All things that are part of our human experience, if we are so lucky.
I can see the world through my 8 year old heart. I can remember the night we left, feeling confused and scared and curious and excited. The new life ahead, the old one behind and my life was full of unknowns and uncertainty. But the thing is, even today in my cozy house with my supportive husband and incredible children, I feel the same way.
In this moment, there wont be a big move or a separation or a defining moment. There’s just this life that we have, and we have no idea when it will all change. When someone will say pack your bags or come now, I need you. That it’s quiet today. There’s space to hold her tight and let the emotions have space to breathe.
2 nights ago, I had a dream that Milo walked home alone from school and we lost him. That he never came back. I woke up sweating and heartbroken. I am not typically a worrier, this was a first for me. I gently got up and started my day. And later last night, I held him tight and said, “Please don’t walk away from me at school or in public okay? I want you to stay close. Sometimes I get scared that you will get lost .”
He said, ” okay, mama.” let go of me and ran down the hall.
On his way out the door, he stopped turned around and said,
“I love you.”