Friday, May 09, 2008
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who are kind enough to come here and read my musings-even those who haven’t had the pleasure (and pain) of childbirth.
I’ve written about this holiday before-I think several readers said they laughed out loud/needed a hankie and a few of you wrote me and said “you should write an e-book with all these entries”.
I came close last year-an entry in Bev Mahone (The founder of the Baby Boomer Divas) had a writing contest where I placed in the top 5-the essay was included in her book “Momma Said There’d Be Days Like These”. It felt wonderful. It was about my mom.
This year, I’ve decided to try and explain what I love about being a mom. I’ve been one now for 26 years, and a bit over a week. My kids are amazing people. They’ve both be a pleasure, a worry, sometimes (sorry, but teenage years were a roller coaster in many ways you two) a horror and ALWAYS, ALWAYS the most wonderful love (next to the man who was ½ of their making) a woman could feel.
It was hard to let them feel hurt, pain, heartache and defeat. As a parent we walk that fine, but strong tightrope about when to step in and when to just be there to help pick up the pieces.
Now that both are adults-I have to admit, it’s still very hard to watch them go through major disappointments and know that I shouldn’t or can’t help fix them all. They have to find out how to “ride the roller coaster” and realize that life will definitely have its highs, lows, fun and scary parts and that, even though I’m right there beside them, they must still experience it for themselves.
And I too have had to realize the same thing. They will always be a major concern, I will love them (and the grandchildren and spouses they add to the mix), but even though I am on the ride with them, I’m also on my own, learning and experiencing some of the same factors, just in a different way. Our roller coaster is no longer about how to provide for them. It’s about how to go through our aging parents, go for our second half life dream and plan for retirement.
Motherhood has so many different stages-the 24/7 teaching, learning and exhaustive stage (birth-teenage years), then comes the 24/7 worry, frustration, worry stage (teenage through early adult), then comes the part when they’ve begun their own lives and you must truly let them go. You no longer get to “tell” them what to do. If they ask me, both of our “kids” know I’m going to tell them the truth. But they can either listen to me, think about what I’ve said and take parts of it, or just sneer and say “yeah, right mom”.
What I love about this stage is our new relationship. Sarah our daughter, who is now a mother of two, comes to me to talk as an adult. We have fallen into that wonderful time where we have mother/daughter times. Not often, but treasured all the same. Our whirlwind trip to New York City, a day in a local beach city-celebrating her birthday, a couple of trips to the theatre and dinner for a couple of my birthday and even, with Adam’s (our son) girlfriend, a fun time in a skin care class doing self-facials and then having girl talk and a burger dinner.
It’s been a great rollercoaster ride being a mom and now grandma. May the experiences continue to be plentiful and grow for many years to come!
May it be the same for all moms everywhere.
About helping your adult children, you just reminded me that my wife asked me to check something our youngest son received in the mail the other day. Some problem with his student loan and being disenrolled from his classes. I thought he was handling this all himself, but as you say, sometimes we have to intervene to help.
Happy Mother's Day!
And yes, I'd love to get together for that cup of coffee one day soon !