Dad, Star, and I made it home all right (in spite of continuing thunderstorms!), had dinner with Mom, and then my Sis spent another night at chez moi to lend me some (im)moral support. We cracked open our (second) bottle of cabernet sauvignon and re-watched, for the umpteenth time, the movie Warlock (from 1989, starring still super-sexy Julian Sands and Richard E. Grant). (Hubba freaking hubba.) (I would even add wooooooof!)
I got up with Star early-ish Sunday morning, to make her some coffee before she trekked back to Brooklyn, and then I was alone. Before she left, she asked me how I was doing and, taking her meaning, I told her I'd be totally fine. And I really thought it was true. I'd felt nothing but normal through the past few days and, in spite of the nasty storms we'd encountered, took great pleasure in Balthazar's obvious excitement to be embarking on this great college adventure. I really felt OK.
I went back to bed and snored away a couple more hours, dreaming intense and crazy dreams, one of which included my Dad flying me somewhere in a small plane and telling me not to look. Of course, I looked, and he said not to panic. When I saw we were flying over a beach and about to fly out over open water, I completely freaked out. Quelle bizarre. (My Dad ain't no pilot.)
|What Balthazar leaves behind...|
The thing is, it's not just the reminder that Balthy's gone which set me off. It's the fact that I can either pay rent on my apartment (or on any apartment) OR pay the balance of his college fees that aren't covered by scholarships and loans and whatnot. Which means that when my lease expires at the end of September, I'm moving back into my parents' two-bedroom apartment. It's absolutely generous of them to let me, as they know why it's necessary. I love my parents, a whole hell of a lot, and I'm so grateful to them for all they've done, and continue to do, for Balthy and me. But moving back in with them at this stage in my life, living in such close quarters, after running a home of my own...gah.
Finally, I'm facing not only a midlife-crisis, but an identity crisis as well. Without having to provide such nuanced care for my kid on a daily basis, I feel all at sea. (Aha, that dream now makes sense!) I have to redefine who I am and I'm not sure I know how to be anything other than a mom anymore. Geez, I've been a mother for most of my adult life! I know who I wanted to be, before Balthazar came along. And I reckon I should go back to that head space and re-frame those dreams with the wisdom I've acquired over the years. I know this is a wonderful opportunity to recreate myself, but this parting of ways with the Me I've been since May 29, 1995...it's a stunningly painful divide.
All Sunday I felt grief-stricken, with these thoughts of loss and dreaded change roiling around in my mind and gut. I know, intellectually, that this downpour of feeling was the worst of it. As the days go by, I will adjust, I will re-frame, and I will conquer all of this ick. And I will strive, in the immortal words of my favorite band, Duran Duran, to not "...cry for yesterday; there's an ordinary world, somehow, I have to find." (Man, actually listening to this song on Sunday night = big mistake.)
And I may get a tattoo. 'Cause, you know, a midlife crisis is the perfect time of life in which to do something terribly permanent which you may some day regret. Well, one's teen years are the ideal time, but that ship has long since sailed, alas...