Yesterday was another first.
My first Mother’s Day without one of my kids. And you know what? It went just fine. I’m actually learning that this is more or less how Life works these days as a mother of a college-age son. First you face a lump-in-the-throat loss, you feel sad, you bend, you adjust, the day comes and goes and even surprises you with sunny, beautiful moments, and afterwards, you find yourself pleasantly restored.
Only somehow, you are different. You feel yourself becoming a tad more sturdy and weathered, like the giant Oak tree that gradually conforms to persistent winds by being bent and imperfect, a stronger version after the storms.
I think that’s the reality of mothering, don’t you? We are constantly in a state of adapting to our children’s latest growth spurt toward adulthood; watching and stepping back and participating in the delicate dance toward our child’s ultimate independence that bring us both joy and yes, wistful loss. One minute we are a one-man fan club, a giddy, cheering observer of our child’s smallest success. And the next minute we are suddenly needed in a different way. So we quietly listen and encourage them from a respectful distance because loving our children ultimately involves the act of letting them go…
Isn’t that the truth?
I did have a wonderful phone conversation with Patrick. He was in the midst of studying for his week of finals and the library was jam-packed with other students just like him, who were not home with their mothers but were also at school. And at some point during our conversation, it hit me. Of course. There were a whole lot of other mothers who did not have their kids with them. What was I thinking?
Welcome to a newfound territory, Leslie, life is a-changing.
So yes, it was my first Mother’s Day without one of my children.
And it was also another first; it was my own mother’s first Mother’s Day without her mother. Which presented my mother and me with a silent bond between us on this gorgeous, sun-drenched afternoon. My mom got teary over her salad when she talked about Grandma Mary, and I got teary when I read Michael’s hand-written note.
And the teary moments passed naturally and we all chatted and laughed over our dinner. And I felt so incredibly grateful…
a lazy breakfast with Michael, a walk with Stella, a shopping trip with Mr. Moss to an antique store, time with my parents, a long, detail-filled conversation with Patrick…
And that was how my day went. How was your day?
Did you feel grateful too?