A New Beginning

For the June meeting of our writing group, the 10-minute writing prompt was this: A new beginning…

A couple of members wrote about the fact that the word “beginning” implies “new” and therefore the prompt was somewhat problematic — and, that’s what happens when you get six smart/snarky women together in the same room with wine; but my response was something different, and in the wake of all the reports about family’s being separated at the border, this actually makes me a little teary-eyed to type. It’s not NEW news for those of you who read my blog, but still, here it is, unedited:


The morning my kids took off together in Jack’s Mazda Speed 3 on their way to Eugene, Oregon, all I could think about was the past.

I sat on my couch with the TV on in the background and three dogs licking at my face and thought, “No regrets.”

No regrets.

Everything I’d done for the past decade had been about family. Sure I wrote and ran and cleaned and ate and slept and drank wine and had sex with my husband; I read books and saw friends and went to writers’ group meetings; but my first priority was them. Jack and Karly.

As I walked through the empty house (three dogs trailing behind me) I could hardly catch my breath, the moment was so big, the emptiness even bigger.

16 years of living in this house, of raising my babies, of crying and laughing and yelling and worrying and hoping. Over.

I couldn’t wrap my heart around it. Everything hurt. My entire body. I didn’t know if I could stand it.

But I stood it.

Inhale. Exhale.

I told myself They are fine. We will be fine. And they’ll be home for winter break in three months.

In the meantime, I can still write and run (or not) and clean (or not) and eat and sleep and drink wine and have sex with my husband and read books and see friends (or not) and go to writers’ group meetings and respond to these prompts and everything will be the same and nothing will be the same.

This was not my first new beginning since becoming a mother. It won’t be my last.

And that’s okay.

It’s better than okay.

Home for the summer in time for Father’s Day. Better than okay.

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7 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. Hugs.

    I actually do a little bit of a freak-out when I end up in the house by myself (well, just me & the dogs). I’ll actually rankle the dogs to make noise, because, well, that much silence is deafening to me, these days.

  2. Holding on to every moment. Thanks for showing me how to do it so well. You’re a great mom. And because it’s so infrequent during this stage in our lives, I’m loving the silent house too.

  3. Diane

    Today is better than okay, tomorrow will be better than okay, and so on and so on…your kids will come home, they will leave, they will come home, and they will leave but they will always be your kids!

  4. Laurel Janssen Byrne
  5. There’s 9 years between me and my middle brother so my folks had a long period of one of us at home. When I got on the bus to leave home and start a career, my Dad and Mom both had tears in their eyes. Good parents always feel loss when their children leave home. Homecomings though, are always exciting as you know.

  6. Here’s my snarky two-cents: you can say new beginnings. It’s like “fresh start”. You know i admire your writing, so thanks for sharing your latest! I’m still waiting for you to get to the “Woo hoo” phase.

  7. So glad you shared this.

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