My sons cannot get enough of me. This is not a brag or proof that I am in any way cool. Just proof how little they still are. Even as I write this, they are climbing on my lap, jumping around my office, calling mommy, mommy, look at this!
There are times every day that I want nothing more than to be alone. Then I remind myself how soon I'll get my wish. Soon, my boys won't be able to get far enough from me. And I'll want nothing more than to have them back.
Relationships with our parents are polar and cyclical like this. We believe everything they say, then nothing, then something in between. We tell them everything, then nothing, then some edited version of the truth. Parents long for solitude when we want to be with them, then for togetherness when we need independence.
My sons are in the everything stage now, each day another step toward nothing. Sometimes I wonder how much longer I have until I won't be allowed to hold their hands or sit them on my lap. Months? Years? Will it hurt when they stop saying I love you? Or is it so gradual that you forget the before, the way I no longer remember the squeeze of a newborn fist?
Being a parent is heartbreaking and exhausting and amazing in a way I never understood until I had children. I'm in awe of what my mom managed: parenting alone for a bunch of years, dealing with a serious PIA teenager (or three - I'm not sure my sisters get off scott-free here), giving me the right amount of space and right kind of rules - though I didn't think so at the time - and most of all how gracefully she let us go when we were ready. I don't understand yet how mothers do this. It seems like the hardest thing to me.
Time is precious, finite and sometimes shorter than we expect it to be. Whether it's on Mother's Day or not, maybe go back to your everything time, especially if its been a while since you did, to tell your mom how you feel or share something uncensored. She probably misses it.
I know I will.
I love you, mom. I hope I can be as good a mother as you are and have been. Happy Mother's Day.