In one week my daughter will be here for a visit and this morning I took my son to the airport so he could catch a flight that would take him back to the city that he calls home. My other daughter spent nearly two years in the UK before returning to Canada. We traveled to Europe again this year visiting family and exploring countries and cities new to us. I love that we can be so mobile and that my adult children have options to live where it makes sense for them be it for work, love or adventure. I love that I was able to make a major move and I enjoy the novelty of living in a new city, in a new way. This mobility and opening up of our worlds are good for expanding my perspective, my world view and my interests in the ways of the world. I am happy that I have passed my curiosity onto my children and that they have taken their independence to places both near and far away from me.
Most days I am content with the occasional skype date with my daughter and a rare one with my son along with text messages and telephone calls. Having coffee with my daughter who lives in the same city is enjoyed at least every second day. Connections with all three children would rate at an 8 or 9 out of 10. Even though most of the connection is dependent on the marvels of technology, it is not bad at all.
Today however this connection is just not cutting it for me. I miss being in the physical presence of my children. I love that they are independent and pursuing their dreams but sometimes I hate that they are not here with me right now. There are many contradictions in life and this is definitely one for me. It is not really logical. Even if I was in the same city I would not spend all my time with them and if I looked at time spent with them through visits it may add up to a similar amount of time spent together if we were in the same city. Nonetheless it is not the same as being able to text them and have all of us converge at the favoured café and have a good heart to heart conversation. Besides, hugs are difficult to achieve even with our advancements in technology.
The contradiction lies in my longing for their presence at the same time as marvelling at their options and choices. That they are happy and pursuing their interests is the ultimate and is what I want. Acknowledging that I really miss them still has me missing them but letting the emotions come to the surface and naming them does help me to feel better. A few tears is better than keeping things tight in the chest.
I look forward to seeing each of them again soon and having the full complement of the family together again for at least a few days. I also look forward to listening to the stories of their adventures and sharing mine.
Irene McDermott © 2011