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The In-Between

by Julie Keon on February 3rd, 2020

I knew this period of stability and predictability wouldn’t be everlasting. Once Meredith surpassed her life expectancy of the age of 8, I felt relief and a sense of peace. We had made it beyond this magical number that had loomed in the distance like a marker in a race. It wasn’t until we got there that we realized it wasn’t the finish line but just the beginning of another leg of this adventure.

And then another year passed and another and before we knew it, Meredith celebrated her sweet 16 and doubled her life expectancy. We celebrated as we could have never imagined this day being a part of her story.

And now we find ourselves in the “in between.” We are not yet members of the adult world but Meredith’s childhood is getting further and further away. Gradually over the last couple of years, I no longer find myself able to relate to the new moms starting out. I can hardly believe I wrote the viral piece “What I Would Tell You” when Meredith was just 7 years old. I recognize the moms who can best support the newcomers to this adventure are the moms with kids in that age group. It is kind of like being in a breastfeeding group when your child is eating steak. Common concerns and issues no longer apply to our circumstances. It’s not that I am at a loss for ideas or suggestions, it’s just that my focus has changed as I navigate unfamiliar territory.

As we age out of the childhood years and look towards all of the changes that will come with adulthood, I am starting to feel like a newborn parent again. A transition is underway and I feel the familiar emotions of those early days: overwhelmed, unsure and a little bit scared. For several years I felt I could exhale and take in everything we had accomplished. Now we are on the brink of a brand new adventure and it is time to move on.

The amount of parents like me who’s children are on the brink of adulthood is dwindling as so many of our kids do not live past the age of 15. As we look back at all we have come through and look forward to what is on the horizon, we find ourselves in this in between place. I am making a record of everything through my writing so that a new book can be born of our experience. In order to dig deep and put it into words, an unraveling must take place. I look forward to emerging on the other side with a brand new book to help guide the families who are where I once was but not yet where I am.

From the in-between;

Julie

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