It is so rare that I am ever in the car without my boys. The occasional date night, perhaps. Or running a quick errand after Shawn is home for the evening. But by myself, in my own car, listening to my own music, for a long period of time - that just doesn't happen. In fact the only time it really happens, as of late, is on my way to a photo shoot. I found myself in this situation just yesterday morning. I'm driving along I-25, on my way into Monument, and there is utter quiet except for Amos Lee playing in the background. No yelling. No talking. No crying for a drink or a snack or a potty. No playful jabber either. No laughter or singing of made up songs. Just me and Amos jamming out. Then I noticed immediately that I was tensing my jaw. I found myself anxious, without cause.
Now I should add, yes, that I usually get a little bit of butterflies before a shoot. I'm still new enough to this biz that I get a little nervous, like stage fright, just before I arrive. But that wasn't what I was experiencing. I was anxious, I realized, because I was alone. Because there was no one else in the car with me, asking for another song or a snack or whatever. I guess it shows that I'm not really comfortable in my own skin these days. Not by myself any way. I'm so accustomed to having others around to care for that left to my own devices I sort of don't know how to act or behave or feel. I was anxious not having my boys with me.
I have to wonder if other mamas feel this way when they are separated from their spawn for a period of time, especially, I suppose, those who are with their children full time. I know when I was working outside of the home full time and Jackson was an infant, I felt a lot of anxiety being separated from him. But I always sort of chalked that up to new mom anxiety. I think that perhaps there is something to the idea that our children are tied, figuratively so, to our apron strings. And letting them go, in whatever form that takes -- be it for an hour long photo shoot or full day Kindergarten or even daycare or visits to Grandmas -- it sort of takes us moms by surprise. And we don't always know exactly how to feel about it. And anxiety about letting them go sort of fills us up... Or perhaps it is more about them letting us go.
Needless to say, I cranked the music up louder. Forced myself to focus on my shoot ahead. And brush the kids to a little corner in my brain for the hour or so I was on my own. And as soon as my shoot was over, I was racing home to swoop them up and be a part of their world again. It's going to take some getting used to I think. Silence is unnatural.