Last night, I sat by the cheery bonfire I had made, reminiscing about bonfires with family and friends in the past. With my adult and almost-adult aged children running here and there to work or some event, I’m finding myself alone more and more.
It was my first time building a bonfire and enjoying it alone. Yes, I did mean to say “enjoying”. It’s definitely taking some getting used to being alone more. I found myself at first feeling sad and pulling out their baby albums, looking over their pictures and wondering how we got from there to here so quickly.
In the next stage of adjustment, I found myself hinting to them that it would be nice to hang out sometime, play a board game or chat a while, to which my daughter would say, “I’m sorry you feel alone.” A couple of times her saying that motivated me to move forward to the next stage.
Acceptance. I don’t want to accept that my children are spreading their wings and needing me less and less. I still want them to be like the little girl I saw in church, sitting in her mother’s lap and cuddling. Oh, if only I could just have one more moment with both, cuddling them on my lap; how I would treasure it.!
But I am learning to accept.
Part of that acceptance is building a network of friends. This area of my life had gone to the wayside for the past five years with having to work full-time and managing everything after the divorce. But I’m rediscovering the fun in getting to know new friends better and the fulfillment of different kinds of companionship.
I’m also experiencing the blessing of being alone. Like last night at the side of my bonfire. I ate veggie hotdogs, had a s’more or two plus four marshmallows ( but whos’s counting?), and I sang a few old hymns as I watched the flames flicker. I wasn’t truly alone. He was near and that truth is what gives me strength in the lonely hours.
I did wind up having company toward the end of my bonfire time. My son’s plans fell through and so I invited him to join me. He did and we ate marshmallows together, talked and laughed. It was good. I treasured every moment of it.