The Almost Empty Nester: Flying Lessons

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flying Lessons

I love to travel. Well, I like the adventures, but I don't like flying. I used to. Airline travel used to be WAY more fun than it is now. Now it's just an airbus. 

But anyway, I went through a phase where I talked myself out of trips because of my fear of flying. I wasn't always afraid. It just sort of crept up on me over time. But flying is the best way to get from point A to point B and I REALLY like visiting point B so I take Dramamine and push through. 

I'm seeing more and more how much my kids are teaching me now that they are older. Alas, another change. But this one I like. A lot. We don't get a lot of tangible feedback as moms that we are doing a good job, but in these teen years, I'm seeing glimpses of the fact that the blood, sweat and tears I've poured into these kids is indeed paying off. 

A few weeks ago my husband looked at me 15 minutes before leaving on a business trip to Vegas and said, "You should go with me." After a good chuckle I gave him all the reasons why I couldn't (like I said, I've gotten good at talking myself out of adventures over time) but our daugher looked at me and said, "Mom, go." In my book, the equivalent of "Mom, it's time to learn how to use your wings again. You need to take flight." She basically said what the picture above says - I looked at her afraid of falling. She reminded me that I would fly. (I did in fact go to Vegas and has a fantastic time.)

I have four nephews. The oldest is playing college football in North Carolina. I booked a trip to see him play and although I had my normal last minute wig out ("I shouldn't leave the kids. What if someone needs me? Is this selfish of me to go?"  Blah, blah, blah. Answers: The kids are fine. If they need something, Hubby is there. It's not selfish to support family. Rational thoughts that don't seem to enter into the equation during a freak out.) So I went. And here I sit in North Carolina as I write this. What is the result of my using my wings again? I've gotten to hug my nephew and spend time with him after not seeing him for two years. I'm visiting a place I've never been to before (insert adventure) and I'm once again flying. Living. Not letting fear or worry hold me back. 

When kids are small, they need us. A lot. It's that 100% thing I talked about earlier. And we moms get caught up in that. Understandably, and as we should. But as we get closer and closer to the 50/50 stage, we have to be reminded that we can do some of the things we stopped doing for a while because the kids needed us. And it's okay. My kids see my living life, not clinging to theirs for a sense of value. 

I've always been intentiional in encouraging my kids to live with wings, determined to not let my own fears be passed on to them. Unfortunately, I let my fears creep in and make me forget how to use my own. In their infinite wisdom, they now are teaching me once again how to fly. 

But what if I fall?

"Mom, you're totally gonna fly."

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