The feelings of motherhood cannot change – they deepen, they explode, they enrapture us to the core.
A Line of Hope
Do the things we feel and want for our children change? I took no less than three pregnancy tests. Perhaps I should have splurged for the name brand ones but I was impatient and they came in multi-packs.
Each day another one went in the garbage until my frustration led me to purchase the fancy expensive one that did not rely on fuzzy lines to emerge from nothingness. It just told you “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.” And, three minutes later, I was pregnant.
I dug the most recently trashed traditional test from the garbage and there too were two lines instead of one. It was faint and had apparently taken longer than the requisite three minutes but the lines were lined up like soldiers announcing the most life-changing news, “Pregnant.”
From that moment my thoughts and feelings were never entirely my own.
Does that ever change?
Go, But Not Too Far
As an unborn bundle of cells quietly grew inside me I contemplated fear and hope and so much promise.
As a baby perfumed in the scent of newness, I cuddled him close In the middle of the night worrying, do the expressed dangers of co-sleeping override the blatant need of this squirming crying human who needs me?
Then he began toddling and falling and becoming capable of being apart from me in ways that were harder to control. From there with each year and milestone, it simply escalates out of control without end! The fear, the hope, the promise.
Play soccer – have fun! Ball to the nose.
Join scouts, learn skills, and then away they go into the wilderness.
When I find abandoned popcorn bowl that the dog has happily licked clean or have told him a million times to “put your shoes on we’re leaving!” I also have that niggling thought that these days are numbered. Rationally, I know it is the cycle that they should go and be independent and head out and make their mark.
It is for us, the tribe of mothers, to quietly worry and hope we have built a person full of tools to cope and build and succeed.
Over and Over
A mom of one is learning and honing her expertise. She can tell her childless siblings with authority, “You don’t really know until you have your own.”
A mom of many can look at that over organized mom of one who is still pureeing her own baby food and making sure everyone is perfectly quiet so the baby can nap and think, “Oh, she’ll relax when she has a few more.”
I look to my own mother and wonder what she thinks as she peers in from the sidelines as I parent my way through my own children. If I had to guess she is still hoping for my happiness and fears for the pitfalls that may come as I delve into the land of tweens and puberty. Hopefully, she sees the light for me a the end of a Lego strewn tunnel.
It is this time of year that we pull kids back into routines and try to convince them that bedtime is under a waning summer sky, still lit with the heat of the day. Some of us begin packing up clothes and helping our children (nay, young adults) make the biggest moves of their thus far codependent lives.
The time when the school calendar is opened anew to a blank page that I take the time to reevaluate and revisit all of my new fears, all of my blossoming hopes, all of the wonder of what this next chapter will bring.
Filling out college applications and cursing through a FAFSA is not preparation for leaving your child in another city. The drive home full of fears, hopes, and doubtless a few tears.
The feelings of motherhood cannot change – they deepen, they explode, they enrapture us to the core. We fear for them, we hope for them, and we love them.
And, we have faith that it is enough.