I haven’t been knitting. Or writing. Or really doing anything creative.
I am at a loss. My only child has left for college, and my house is absurdly quiet, even with animals (dogs, cats, pig, bird) and another child living here (not mine, just one I love who has need of a soft place to land). But that child isn’t here. There is no video game noise, no late night talking with his friends, no absurdly loud laughter at 3 AM, no slap of large feet on hardwood that makes you think he’s walking around the house with flippers on. It’s the quiet that you get after something loud and beloved stops suddenly…your favorite song on the radio goes off and your ears ring in the silence, and the sudden lack of sound feels like a physical presence pushing out all the air in the room.
I find I don’t know what to do with my hands.
Knitting was something I learned when my boy — my young man, more accurately—was a toddler, making toddler noises and watching at my knee, fascinated by the moving and flashing of the needles as I struggled and learned and became, if I do say so myself, quite a good knitter. Knitting filled the spaces in my day, the waiting times in karate lessons and band practices and waiting in lines and waiting for dismissal and waiting for his halftime show to begin and waiting and waiting and waiting. My whole life feels like those gaps now. Knitting was what I did to pass the time, and the time passed all too quickly.
I know I can do anything…there are piles of yarn waiting to find projects, writing projects that need starting and finishing, home improvements waiting for me to do it myself, dreams of my own I can pursue now that I’m not a full-time mom. But I don’t want to be here yet. I’m not even sure who I am in the world right now. When people ask what I do, I don’t know what to say. I should be glad for the freedom and the time. But I’m not. The silence is ringing still and I’m afraid if I fill it with the click of the needles or the banging of a hammer or the tapping of a keyboard that I’ll get used to it. I never want to be used to him being gone.
I know that he’s not that far, that he will be home for visits, that I’ll still be there. I’ll always be there. But my life right now is waiting for the next stage, one I’m not ready for but is here nonetheless. And if I knit in the emptiness, the time will go faster. It always has.