Tamara Willems

moving forward…

Boxes had been piling up for weeks or  
months really 
and by about ten o’clock this morning 
they were  
my son moves out today  
has done, I guess 
moving in with his longtime girlfriend 
finally, after a bit of pandemic interruption 
starting ‘grown-up’ life 
which is wonderful and she is  
and in most ways, I couldn’t be happier for them 
I certainly know well the feelings of being young, in love 
and wanting more from life, than saying goodnight each night 
returning separately to your parents’ house 
but still 
my goodness, today feels… a little empty here 
as I kind of knew it would 
and really, I don’t need you to tell me this is the way it should be 
your kids move out, I get that 
still, doesn’t take away how much I like having them here

this morning we talk briefly and lightly 
about Christmas 
and I realize it won’t be the same 
no more the six of us sleepily gathered in a small space 
going through our Christmas morning routine 
as we have always done 
I guess this year will just be, a little bit  
are we as parents destined to forever wonder if we have given 

this past week felt long, anxiety was high and I was 
troubled about things
the where’s, the why’s and how comes 
weighed heavily and I felt weak and
I walked myself through in a kind of foggish-ness 
and fret 
(seems like a ridiculous way to spend your days) 
you know I will also tell myself this 
and try not to write about the questions I’ve been 
lest you think that I’d walked through the streets naked 
baring all but post-it notes and 
having inadvertently locked the kinder more sensible parts of myself 
out in the cold

instead, today what I choose to do is
take a deep breath 
and a long hot shower 
pour myself a large glass of lemon water  
walk through the empty spaces 
practice gratitude and kinder thoughts for  
tender hearts 
and when the cat suddenly throws up all over the floor 
I find this is exactly
the right time

to let the tears fall ♥

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