This mom gig really is ever changing.
Just when you think you’ve settled in to the next phase of your child’s life, lo and behold something hits you that you’re not prepared for.
That was my experience/dose of reality this past weekend as we celebrated Mother’s Day.
Now 14 and 17, my kids are always good about checking in with what mom wants to do on Mother’s Day.
What we’ve done has run the gamut from picnics, hikes in Knights Ferry, trips to Santa Cruz and even mom just staying in bed all day with magazines and reality TV.
I even went through a phase when they were younger of spending Mother’s Day with my mom, sans kids. That day usually looked like the two of us lunching, taking in a movie or a little bit of shopping and basically just taking a breath from my (then) two littles.
This year, as I thought about the day to come, I couldn’t help but think back to that time and wish I could have a do over.
Motherhood is funny that way. Hundreds of books have been written on the topic, covering all the things and giving all the advice. Yet all the books aside, I’m a firm believer that there are just moments in our lives that no matter how much you read (or don’t) you just can’t see the lesson coming.
The wish for the “do over” came shortly after my daughter asked if I’d like donuts Sunday morning, a long time Sunday tradition from when there were younger. In that moment I realized this simple question had greater impact.
No longer would they need mom to take them to get said donuts, my son could do that.
As if that weren’t enough, just as my mind was grasping their independence my daughter popped in to let me know they were running to town to do some “shopping.”
Watching the two of them head out the door, my thoughts returned to the days they were half the size they are now. Mom needing a “me” day for Mother’s Day to recharge and simply be in peace. Oh how I wish I could get those days back.
Now granted in the moment, most especially in the single mom of two kids’ days, times of true rest were few and far between. Motherhood after all is a 24/7 job. Perhaps that’s why we carry them for nine months, because as all mothers know once they’re born the worry really begins.
We just want to give them so much and be there for them as much as possible, all while trying to groom good, kind hearted, caring, polite humans. Then one morning you wake up and they’re asking if you want donuts on Mother’s Day.
Watching my friends with older children (my partner included), I see how much they now cherish the time with their chicks whom have flown the coop. Their excitement for their return home or a pending trip to visit or a simple lunch date.
I get it now.
I don’t know that any parent is ever truly prepared for their children’s independence. As exciting as each milestone is, it still takes time to adjust. Some of you know this better than I, while others I know are trying to navigate it wisely just as I am.
Today, as I reflect back to the weekend, the casual way we spent the day and the deep love they showed for their mom on “her” day, I can’t help but be moved as well as a bit emotional.
The days they are long, but the years go fast. Cheers to all the mommas, be it still holding those little hands or watching them leave with keys in hand. Blessed are we to know such love.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.