I felt good about getting up today, "my day" to get all three kids off to school. All three. Completely new territory. With prior evening preparations and organization, I felt like a mom With Her Shit Together, a confidence boosting space for me. The morning arguing and stress was minimal (perhaps none??) and we left with the house tidy. I experimented with a slightly altered route from my usual, and got to our destination with 5 minutes to spare.
Mayan launched out of the van before I'd killed the engine and dashed off immediately to find her friends. George and I walked Izzy into the building, and then the two of us waited outside of the preschool waiting the doors to be unlocked. The air had that delicious autumn nip. Once inside, George was happy to change into his slippers and kiss me goodbye.
I met a friend in the lobby so she could tell me about her new love interest, the first since her divorce. I took a moment to revel in her happiness before excusing myself to go to yoga. Although I had 40 minutes to drive only 7, I knew I needed some molting time. The strange, full, lonely, lost feeling was creeping on me. The questioning of myself. A mother whose children are in the care of others, and from now until forever, they will always (and even more so as the years tick on) be in the care of others or of themselves. That raw, dangling feeling, as if aloft without the distinction of joy, but accompanied by the tightness of throat and the imminence of tears. I got to the sun-warmed car before letting any of them fall. I dumbly picked up my phone, sobered by not having my day planned out. Just yoga. Going forth to yoga, I knew, was best.
The northeast class is big, much bigger than the humble loft in southeast, my usual yoga cocoon. I feel slight irritation at this particular instructor--I sense a snobbish streak or maybe I just find her too adorable to relate to. But her classes are skillful, if not lacking a strong flow due to the incessant verbal instruction. Today, my fellow yogis and I packed in only slightly less like sardines. I stayed introverted as I set up, clutching a tissue to dab any quiet trails of tears as they slipped past the ledge of my lower lashes. As the detailed instructions began, I became so engrossed in the distraction that I was taken away from my sadness completely. I thank her for that. Our focus was on the kidneys and spine and brain, and the cerebral-spinal fluid. I've never paid so much attention to the interior space of my body in all of my 11 years of practicing yoga.
Yet when the class wore off and I found my self back in my mobile sanctuary, more tears came. It was then 11am and I had 4 hours of unmarked time. I called the father of my babies and he offered me a verbal pillow to soften on. He helped talk me through my next move--home to brew a pot of coffee and reheat left-overs. He granted me the permission that I silently sought to sit at home with no interruptions in front of my laptop, a perfectly acceptable afternoon. A gentle way to transition into this unprecedented independence that marks the beginning of a whole new elevation of my mother journey. And I promise not to waste it all on Facebook.