Today, I would imagine, you will find hundreds if not thousands of blog posts about Mother’s Day. There are most assuredly sentimental posts, nostalgic posts, "isn’t it funny my kid is like this" posts, and maybe even some angry and resentful posts. There will be posts by women wanting to be moms, women wanting validation of their choice not to be moms, and men recognizing the women in their lives. Cyberspace can get along just fine without another Mother’s Day post by me.
Here it is anyway.
Two nights ago my son, RC (17), woke me up in the middle of the night. I admit, my first thought was, "Oh Dear God, he’s come to tell me he got some girl pregnant!" You think things like that when you have teenagers. Especially when they wake you up in the middle of the night. Turns out he wasn’t feeling well. Yes, that’s right, he is 17 years old and he wanted his mom at 2 a.m. when he wasn’t feeling well. Go figure.
Yesterday my youngest, PR (13), got in the car when I picked him up from school and he was cranky, out-of-sorts, and miserable to be with. This seems to happen a lot lately. The kid CAN be great – or not. It was a not so great day. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "I don’t even know. I am just mad and I don’t know why." Of course, I know he is going through all sorts of hormone surges right now, but he doesn’t completely understand it. Thirty minutes later he was fine and wanted to "hang out" and tell me about some big social activities going on in his life. Thirteen and he wanted to hang out with me, his mom, for awhile. Imagine that!
Today my oldest child, my daughter TR, called home from college. She is a political writer for her university’s newspaper. She was having a difficult time reaching some politicians that she needed to interview for an article. Her deadline was this evening. She wanted to vent her frustrations to me and also see if I had any advice for her. I did. As of this writing, I don’t know if the advice helped or not. She was pretty stressed though – and she wanted to talk to me. Really!
When my kids were young I was immersed in caring for them 24 hours per day. Briefcase was always traveling and I often felt like a single mom of three. To be honest, I pretty much WAS a single mom of three. There were a lot of days I just wanted a break from it all. In contrast, there were also times when I worried about the day arriving when my kids would no longer need me. Now I realize that being a mother is a job that never ends no matter what age your kids are. I know that, at age 47, I still frequently want to chat with my own mom. (Fortunately, I am still able to do that. I know many of my friends are not.)
Obviously the role of mother changes and varies depending on the ages and circumstances in the family. Having a toddler cling to you is not the same as having a 13 year old boy want to "hang out" with you. Nor is it the same as having a 17 year old boy knock on your door at 2 a.m. saying, "Mom, are you awake?" (The answer being: "I am now – thank you very much!")
Now that my kids are older, I find myself surprised when they do things that show they still need me. It is always unexpected. Yes, they can survive without me and I am proud of their strength and independence. But the fact is, they still want me involved in their lives (most days!) and I am grateful for that. I have a friend with younger kids and she made a comment to the effect that I only have 2 kids to deal with now since TR is away at college. What she doesn’t realize is how much of my time TR still takes. Daily phone calls most days (which I love), ongoing errands such as asking me to pick up items for her and mail them up to school, making travel arrangements for her study abroad program, etc. Not to mention all that back and forth texting she and I do every Thursday evening during Grey’s Anatomy. She still gets a lot of my time even if she isn’t living in our home year round.
Briefcase asked me this week what I would like to do on Mother’s Day. Both of our own moms live out of state and won’t be with us this weekend. I told him that I don’t care what we do (after hinting shamelessly about my desperate need for a new iPod … music junkie that I am). Just hanging out and relaxing and doing NOTHING sounds like heaven. Besides, I already know I am getting the gift I really want. TR called to say that she is making an unexpected trip home from college for Mother’s Day. I will have all my kids home for the weekend. Yay!