Sunday, December 16, 2007

Stress I should NOT complain about

For three months and some I stalled and piddled around about going through the last few boxes of stuff Kirby left. He packed his closet and straightened what he was leaving on the shelves in his room. We told him we'd keep it as it was for a year, as it was, in case he wanted to move back.

Holly commandeered his bathroom, and photographs it frequently for MySpace. The XBox that Marty bought Kirby's share in (Kirby bought a new one in Austin) is still in there, and my computer, recently, but that's changing soon (my computer and the printer are going back downstairs).

Yet in the front room were five boxes of toys and hats and comics and books that Kirby was undecided about. He didn't want them, but he said Holly and I should go through and see if there were things we wanted, or what would be worth giving away.

Each time I started in on that, I felt angst and agitation. I asked Marty and Holly for help sometimes, and then we all three stalled.

But it's done now. Marty pulled out things he wanted a few days ago, I got some advice from both of them, and this morning I finished off the job. There are boxes of things for the thrift store (in the trunk of the car), a trashbag of things not worth giving to the thrift store, half a bag of recycling (better-quality plastic single-substance parts and items), and one box of things I thought might be useful for Halloween someday or for grandkids to dig through in an imagined possible future. There's a small box of parts and pieces to be re-filed with the proper collections or games.

Now I have space in that room and in my emotions for a Christmas tree. Sheeeesh, it wasn't easy. Every thing I touched was something Kirby had touched when he was four, or six, or ten, or fourteen, and then chucked aside when he was twenty-one. His whole life was passing before my eyes.

And another level of anxiety was added to the other (though I was keeping myself calm and amused and happy with happy-thoughts). I was feeling a light sorrow and regret, partly for burdening him with so much junk. Yet every single thing in there was something he played with and learned from and outgrew. That's good! The anxiety I was fighting down involved guilty feelings about my self-pity.

Kirby is alive and well. He sleeps in a warm place. He has a job, a car, and food. He has a roommate he gets along well with. He has an intact family to come home to, and on January 13 he's scheduled to arrive here for a visit

I think it was related to a sort of survivor's guilt, although that states it too strongly. My three children are at magical ages on the doorstep of adulthood. Three pregnancies, three grown to the age of reproduction and independence, without major injury or disease. I wish all moms could have that. And in thinking of those who were not so fortunate as I am, I'm kind of ashamed of my strong feelings about toys and childhood set aside by Mr. Kendall Kirby Dodd who outgrew his need for the nest and moved on into the world.

This mom-job isn't as easy as some people make it look.


Tracy Million Simmons said...

I think I love "listening" to you talk about your grown children as much as when they were younger.

Stace and kids said...

But you make it look easy Sandra....and more importantly, you make it look fun!!!
Thank you for sharing your family with us. You are so inspirational to me.


Happy Campers said...

I feel like you capture in words the feelings that I cannot verbalize. Our son is in his freshman year in college & I often find myself saying "Yes...that's it!" when I read how you miss your children when they're gone. Thank you for sharing your thoughts for the Web World to see :)

Cally said...

I have 4 sons aged 26, 24, 20 and 17. Only the 17yo is still at home, and tho he will stay living at home a bit longer, he is moving on from unschooling to work and university next year.My older three all have partners, and one has 2 children and a third on the way. It is a scary time for us mothers as we find ourselves if not redundant, at least with a reduced work load. I am so glad that my boys are moving on as is right and proper - but I also miss them so very much. But we are the lucky ones - because of the way they have grown, we are their friends, not monster mothers they want to escape - they will come home, they will stay in touch; they actually want us in their lives :-)

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Night before last, I dreamed that Owen, 14, was little (3 or 4) again, sleeping next to me. I remembered how he smelled (sweet) and how warm he was and the little dark brown birthmark on his tummy.

I was really grateful for that dream.

I'm grateful for you, Sandra. I don't think that I could have enjoyed my kids, my family, my life, as much without reading your posts here and other places over the years. I would have freaked a few years back when my daughter told me she wanted me to go with her to talk to a doc about The Pill, freaked when Owen decided his bedtime is 4:00AM, freaked when Jesse played Guitar Hero for hours at a time. I didn't actually need a bracelet, but asked myself, "WWSD ?" until it started to come more naturally to me. :)Thank you.

cris said...

I don't tear up much lately, but this post did it to me.
thank you for continuing to share as your babies become adults.


Steve Muhlberger said...

Who are these some people who make it look easy?

Dina said...

I love this. Reading it helps me be more present with my young kids and appreciate every moment with them. Thank you, Dodds, all of you!