Silver Linings

silver linings

Do you ever have a thought, feeling or emotion that rattles around in your head for, oh, let’s say, weeks?  Maybe months?  The problem is your not sure how to express it.  Or even if you should?  Here’s mine.

This year my son will turn twenty and I’ve missed half of his life.

Let me explain.  If I can.

I left my first husband when our son was three months old.  Within the first year I agreed (begrudgingly) to a custody arrangement that was a 50/50 split of time.  Over the years that has meant alternating house every three days, four days or seven days.  At times it was confusing (mostly for other people) but it seemed to work.  Bottom line, my son has spent half of his twenty years living away from me.

There’s no blame here.  No looking back in anger.  It was what it was and its history.

But here’s the thing.  It’s a weird feeling knowing that so many things that your child has experienced were not with you.  That during those days away you had idea where he was, who he was with or what he was thinking.  There are so many experiences, emotions and moments that I have no history of.  No pictures, no memories, no knowledge what so ever.

I’m not wallowing in pity either.  I know that he grew up loved by so many people and so far has had an amazing life.  It’s just an observation I’ve made in the past while.  I was struck one day by the fact that for days at a time I had no contact of any kind with him.

The hardest thing to do every week was not to pepper him with questions the minute he walked through the door.  Sometimes I was successful and sometimes not so much.  I just wanted to know what he had done.  What had he eaten.  How had he felt.  Had he been happy?  Had he had a hard week?

at school

Boys, as some of you may know, can be….um….lacking in details when it comes to what they’ve been doing.

“How was school?”


“What did you do?”


“Who were you with”


Sound familiar?

I’m not sure if it is despite of or because of our arrangements that he has grown up to be a smart, caring, happy young man.  There have been trying times for him but I believe the same could be said for other boys his age who have grown up in a more conventional setting.

He’s not home much anymore.  Between work, school, friends and having his own car we are lucky to get a dinner once a week.  Oh and the odd “what can I eat?” at 1:00 pm after rolling out of bed.  Again, not judging, just observing.

I also know that going forward there won’t be as many family vacations, day trips or ski days and that’s okay.  I’m happy that he is happy and moving on into his adult years.  A parents job is to ready their children to make it on their own in the world and I am confident that he will do just that.  I’m hoping that when that happens there will be the odd phone call home to say, ask how long to roast a chicken?

walking away

It’s so hard to put these feelings into words.  The feeling that I’ve missed a lot but have still been given so much.

I suppose in some ways it has prepared me for the next stage of our lives.  I’m not that worried about him not being around all the time.

The Best Thing in Life is silver linings.


19 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. candidkay March 17, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Better yet–on that phone call home–he’ll say, “Why don’t you come over and eat the chicken with me when it’s done?” You can make up for lost time:).

  2. Erica smith March 18, 2016 / 9:26 am

    Susan, well written. Well said. Well felt. Well appreciated. How you write without any guilt (which you should not have 1 micro iota) no anger, and no resentment is bloody admirable.You are a much higher developed human than I ever will be. Namasté

  3. Rose March 19, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Well written! I can imagine what it was like for you, though I have no experience. You have an amazing easy of covering your emotions and seeing the positive. Great post.

  4. jacquelineobyikocha March 19, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    I can so relate with the dialogue thing. My daughter will share tidbits of her day with you, while I practically have to put a fishing line in the boy’s mouths to dig out information 🙂 I like your positive outlook, it’s what it was and the best thing is to look forward to a brighter tomorrow. Great post.

    • bestthingsinlife1964 March 19, 2016 / 11:20 pm

      LOL my eight year old would give me a minute by minute rundown of her day if I let her.

      • jacquelineobyikocha March 19, 2016 / 11:38 pm

        Just like my girl. We ladies do know how to converse 😉

  5. Stephanae V. McCoy March 20, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Very enjoyable read. Oh those boys-gotta love ’em (I have 3, all over 26). I never thought I’d see the day when they would seek my advice but they actually do and not only that but they seem to respect my responses to their questions.

    • bestthingsinlife1964 March 20, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      Yes, I think I just need to wait a few years more to see that. Thanks for reading.

      • Stephanae V. McCoy March 20, 2016 / 1:25 pm

        It’ll come and you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I remember the first time my oldest (he’s 30 now) sought my counsel, I almost cried I was so happy that for once, since the teenage years, he felt he could trust me.

  6. Deb March 20, 2016 / 9:08 am

    I love how you expressed your concerns,and painted a picture of explanation with no judgment or guilt added on. Am sure many memories will be created in the future. Yoy may not see much of him, or talk to him often,but the few minutes you will end up spending together will be filled up with so many emotions…and none will spill over!
    Glad I met you through Brunch. 🙂

  7. Donna March 20, 2016 / 9:15 am

    My girls are far away from me and I have found they don’t call as often as they become more involved in their own lives from away from mommy. The circle of life goes on. DARN just wish they would call more. But they do like to text.

  8. Miriam March 20, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    I feel like I missed things with my kids even when I was with them… Just being busy and not always fully present in the moment. Also I think most people are still fairly self-centered at 20 and you will probably find a new closeness when he gets a little older.

  9. camparigirl March 21, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    I see friends who are divorced going through the same struggle, especially those whose divorces were not particularly amicable. But here is another silver lining: the time the two of you had to yourselves allowed you to build something that was just yours, that you never had to share. And maybe some of if made it more special in a way? I am not a big fan of silver linings but, when things cannot possibly be changed, they show their usefulness.

    • bestthingsinlife1964 March 21, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Yes, the time we had together was special and unique. Thanks for reminding me.

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