I’ve reached the end. My newest WIP is complete and marinating before its edit. Fall, with its chill winds and splendid show of changing leaves, has replaced the warmth of summer. On Saturday, Eldest will perform his final marching band show, rounding out his sixth season.
Sometimes those words are bittersweet. Sometimes they are just bitter. Rarely do I look back on them and feel sheer untainted joy.
The End. My baby is growing up. I’m no longer allowed to pamper him and smother him and do everything for him. I’m no longer allowed to act on my motherly impulses, but rather, I’m in a place where he is in control of his new beginning. I’ll cry this weekend. No doubt about that.
I’ll cry for everything he’s accomplished and for everything he has yet to do. I’ll cry for every missed moment and for every mistake I’ve made while raising him. I’ll shed tears for the baby he’s left behind and the stunning young man he has become.
Even while I know the end is not final, it is a chapter closed. One I will never get back, save for the memories and photos I have.
In the same way, finishing a manuscript feels final. Yet, unlike raising a child, it is a chapter we get to read many times. It is an opportunity to fix our mistakes and change the outcome to be stronger, better, healthier, more satisfying.
Or, is it really just the beginning?