Five Minute Friday: Alone

Teddy bear

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Alone

Go.

This week a young mother came out to a community agency board meeting without her newborn. She had only a little time to spare before getting back for the next feeding.

As we chatted, a strong memory muscled its way into my brain – the memory of the very first time I left the house alone after our son was born.

I went to the grocery store.

Being alone felt extremely weird.

As I drove the car to the store, I realized that my habit of listening to classical music so that the baby in my womb could also hear it was no longer a consideration.

I could listen to it because I liked it, but there was nobody else in the car to hear it.

I was alone.

For the first time in more than nine months.

Alone.

I quickly completed my shopping and headed back.

I was anxious to get home, because, well, it felt weird to be out. Alone.

As I pulled into the garage, my husband swung open the inside door and enthusiastically proclaimed that our son’s umbilical cord stub had fallen off.

I’m sure he was surprised by the tears this announcement called forth.

The truth hit gut-punch hard.

The last symbolic evidence that we had once been physically attached was gone.

Here was proof that our son was his own separate person.

Not part of me.

An individual.

Of course that is how it should be.

It’s been fun to watch him develop and grow and emerge as the unique person he is.


Last week our son started high school.

Dropping him off and watching him saunter into the high school with his back pack slung over his shoulder…I felt a hint of that old gut-punch realization.

He is his own, separate person.

Of course that is how it should be.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tears for this mom as she watches her son head off into the wider world.

Alone.

Stop. High school hallway with blue lockers

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