So this has been a harder summer as far as summers go. I suppose it’s because I was expecting the expected, and instead the unexpected happened. The brilliant days have been clouded with loss – a broken engagement, plans for kids leaving home. I read somewhere about a woman whose ‘womb was singing, it was evening, the baby was bathed and settled, and all was well in her house’. I’ve known that feeling too, I suspect it’s kind of universal among moms. And the longing for it doesn’t end, even when the babies have long left the womb or home. Wanting things to be right and well for our children is the unending essence of motherhood.
So is letting go. From watching beloved little legs walk away alone for the first time to kindergarten, to watching with mixed pride and tears as they pack belongings to begin their lives away, oh my tethered heart. Their joy is my joy, their pain is my pain, their gain or loss mine also. I have a friend with good intentions who likes to suggest this is co-dependence. I think rather though, this is attachment and parental love, perhaps at it’s most essential.
You really never expect the paths you’ll walk along with your children. Or the depth of what you may feel for them. I doubt the desire to comfort them ever fades. When they’re threatened with pain or loss, something unexpectedly primal, fiercely protective and ready to die or kill on their behalf takes over. I’ve known it many times over.
Being a mom is an exquisite journey. They warn you at the beginning you may lose yourself on it, and you might. But you may also find yourself. And enroute, discover yourself stronger, wiser and more resilient than you ever imagined. Because there is magnificent reason to be so.
I have five magnificent reasons. I am one lucky mother.