Blurry Vision by Sharon O’Donnell


Is it really the end of July?

Six weeks ago when my youngest son, Jason, graduated from high school, the summer seemed to stretch out lazily ahead of us. His freshman year of college was over two months away, and there seemed to be plenty of time to do and say the things I wanted to do and say before it was time for him to leave. But somehow the weeks passed without a lot of that getting done or said. There was graduation week, filled with fun with friends and family and school events. The next week Jason had his wisdom teeth out, which basically was a ‘lost’ week where nothing really happened except him wearing an ice pack around his face and eating a lot of ice cream, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. Then we went to college orientation at UNC-Charlotte for a few days, and then to Charlottesville, Virginia to accompany my middle son, David, and his fiance as they scoped out wedding venues for next year; this was a brief but fun family trip as our oldest son, Billy, drove down from DC, also. And then it was the 4th of July week, followed by buying college ‘stuff’ for Jason’s dorm room, orthodontist, allergist, and other doctor’s appointments, mixed in with his playing basketball with friends and going to movies and baseball games — and now, yes, it’s the end of July.

Really.

But you see, it’s not just the end of the summer. This will mark the beginning of being an ’empty nester’.  I’ve had at least one of my three boys at home with me since 1991, and I have to admit, even though I have my own interests and goals, I’m not quite sure what I will do as an empty  nester.  My primary role has been that of ‘mom’, and when I strip that away, I’m not sure what it is that I will find. Of  course, I will still be mom to my youngest just as I’ve continued to be to his brothers since they’ve been out on their own; but, this marks the end of being mom in a day-to-day routine kind of way. And my heart aches thinking about how much I will miss it.

The only part of it that I’m somewhat looking forward to is that meal preparation will be easier. My 18-year-old always seems to be hungry, and some of the things my husband and I like, he doesn’t like. This makes meal planning difficult.  Still, I finally got adjusted to cooking for three instead of five when now I have to adjust to cooking for just two. But those fresh, healthy all-ingredients-included meals for two at the grocery store do have an appeal, and I’ve started buying a few like Bourbon Salmon or Dijon Chicken. I know that after several days of preparing meals for two, I will miss my 18-year-old coming in and asking what’s for dinner or opening the fridge and grabbing fruit or a Gatorade.

I’m glad Jason is looking forward to going to college and rooming with his friends; my other two sons enjoyed college much more than they did high school, and I think Jason will like it too. I’m thankful he is healthy and happy. Yet, he truly is my baby, six years younger than my middle son. We’ve spent a lot of time together, such as taking trips together just the two of us when my oldest sons couldn’t go due to college or work schedules and my husband had work conflicts. Or even just when he’d say one night, “Hey, Mom, ya wanna go to a movie?”  I guess since there is such a gap between the him and the other boys, I kind of thought he’d be around forever.

Graduation day photos:

I can’t imagine what this house will be without a boy in it. I wonder if the house itself will wonder what the heck is going on. The quiet within its walls will be so strange.

One of the things I’ve really gotten into in the past year or so is writing song lyrics. So I decided to write something about my feelings as my baby goes off to school. He was the one who made me officially an ‘older’ mom, and I thank him for that. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

 

Blurry Vision

In line at the grocery store,

12 item or less express lane

Got out to my car and it began to rain

Windshield wipers moving against the glass

Rainy day to match my mood

Started thinkin’ bout my past

when the kids were small and I was their whole world

Got tears in my eyes, my vision blurred.

 

Where I am I goin’, I don’t know

Where have I been to  . .. what have I got to show?

This damn blurry vision.

All these decisions.

(I’m) at a crossroads, which way do I turn?

Still chasing my dreams, when will I learn?

I hate this damn blurry vision

yeah, this damn blurry vision.

 

Time flies by, and the kids grow up

(My) empty nest’s coming soon

But I’m not ready for it yet

Thinking about those empty rooms

The sound of their voices as they echo there

And as they leave, I’ll be saying a prayer

I’m glad that they are flying

but I would be lying

if I said I didn’t feel a little lost

 

Where I am I goin’, I don’t know

Where have I been to  . .. what have I got to show?

This damn blurry vision.

All these decisions.

(I’m) at a crossroads, which way do I turn?

Still chasing my dreams, when will I learn?

I hate this damn blurry vision

yeah, this damn blurry vision.

 

Bridge:

Time to turn the page to the next chapter

But I don’t know what’s gonna come after

 

Where I am I goin’, I don’t know

Where have I been to  . .. what have I got to show?

This damn blurry vision.

All these decisions.

(I’m) at a crossroads, which way do I turn?

Still chasing my dreams, when will I learn?

I hate this damn blurry vision

yeah, this damn blurry vision.

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