pompeii and loneliness

Ursula Dean


we visited pompeii - hot and dusty and near the sea in italy.  in the distance was mt. vesuvius, the volcano who's eruption in 79 a.d. wiped out pretty much anyone who didn't evacuate the city.  we mostly walked around quietly looking into the dwellings, following paths through archways and listening from time to time to a nearby tour guide.  at this point in the trip i was heartbroken that my son wasn't really enjoying this kind of travel.  i think i cried 6 times while in europe. it was difficult, that part of the trip.  i think by the time we left for europe he was more interested in staying home for the summer and hanging out with his mates.  i spent a lot of time trying to make him happy or comfortable or just interested in whatever we were doing that day.  raising a teenager has opened up some parts of me i didn't know were still there.  just complete anxiousness, a feeling of being heartbroken, feeling overwhelmed or just overbearing.  a lot of these feelings i associate with some rocky relationships in my 20s - which sounds strange but if you have a teenager you might understand.  i didn't realize that when they begin to (as they should) move away from you a bit, distance themselves from you in order to grow into an adult some day, that it left you on the opposite side of the road looking on.  and that feeling is incredibly intense.  so pompeii .. i loved the quiet of the place. 


  • : )


  • I often find it lonesome, too, parenting teenagers. It almost feels like being one again, sometimes. xo


  • Reading this brought tears to my eyes. So many feelings we carry with us. And then and again they rise up. Ebb and flow.


  • kristina and laura .. xo


  • I am not sure how we survived my son’s teenagerhood, which was shot through with negotiating the pull-and-push away and back forces between him and us. There was is always tremendous love but how often, on the path to becoming his own person while yet wanting us always to ‘be there,’ feelings ran high and then into the lowest of lows and sloughs of despond! I never regret all we struggled through together. I did fear we would never see more him finding delight and joy in our shared experiences as he had when he was little. He turned 20 this year; even as he entered his late teens things seemed to becoming round. No easy task it is to give them space to grow into their own lives and selves (it wasn’t for me.. I have cringed at some memories!). — He may not know it now or wish to communicate it to you, but the trip will resonate and in a good and great and important way. And yes, please be kind to yourself!


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