Motherhood memories

Mother's Day collageRemember back in grade school when the teacher would give an assignment to create an acrostic?

You wracked your brain trying to compose a poem or some type of composition where you used the first letters of a name or word to form a line of other words describing the vertical word or name.

Like the one I composed above. Thoughts of MOTHERMemories Of The Happy times Easily Remembered.

Mother’s Day is slated on the calendar for this coming Sunday. And as usual, this holiday honoring our moms always brings forth a tidal wave of memories for me.

This month marks a very special page in my book, not just because of Mother’s Day but because three special women in my life were born during the merry month of May.

One was my own mother. Another was Papa’s (my husband’s) mother. And the third was my first child, who being born just 45 minutes before it actually became Mother’s Day, bestowed the title of mother upon me.

So once May rolls around on the yearly calendar, sweet memories always leisurely float their way to the surface of the ocean of my mind.

Memories like my mother fixing a tiny tea party for a childhood friend and myself when I was around four years of age and the scent of fresh, clean soap when my mother held me close.

Memories of my mother-in-law, who was more of a mother-in-love and herself the mom of three sons, confiding to me that she considered me her daughter and the surprising day she gifted a ring, given to her by my father-in-law and one she wore each day, to me.

Memories of holding my first sweet-smelling baby in the labor and delivery recovery room after giving birth and listening as my brand new daughter immediately stopped crying when the nurse placed her on my chest next to my wildly beating and excited heart.

Memories. Happy, joyous times but also bittersweet moments as well.

Memories like the one of my beloved mother lying in her hospital room succumbing to that dreaded disease – cancer – and me being the last one to leave her side one evening. As I leaned over and kissed the cheek of the one who had held and kissed me in comfort and love so many times before, she lovingly took my hand in hers and whispered in my ear, “Pray for me.”

Memories of one last long-distance phone call to my dear mother-in-law as she soon would breathe her last breath. And the question, which was most pressing on her wandering mind, for me:  “When are you coming home?”

Memories of bringing my little one into this world without my husband by my side while he was serving his country in a land on the other side of the globe.  And memories of that sweet, tiny baby growing up into the loveliest of daughters, setting off on life’s adventures far away from her home and her mama. 

Memories that make me smile. Memories that make me laugh. And yes, memories that make tears well up in my eyes and cause a catch in my throat. They all are memories of motherhood.

May memories.

“The best things you can give children, next to good habits, are good memories.” ~ Sydney J. Harris

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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Mother’s Day love

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Mother’s Day flowers

When it comes to Mother’s Day remembrances, certain recollections float to the surface of the deep pool of my memory.   

My mother’s birthday was also in May so that merry month brought more than one day of celebrating Mom.   I always associated May with flowers because often times we would purchase flats of flowers for Mom’s Mother’s Day gift which she would plant in her flower gardens.  

Mom loved to garden and she loved her flowers.  There were always perennials in bloom in several areas around our yard and she delighted in the annuals she placed in one flower garden, the one with the pretty bird bath in the center.

When I was young, Mother’s Day began with attending church which would be packed with families all lined up in the pews with their proud mamas.  We ladies, young and old, wore flower corsages on Mother’s Day to show honor to our mothers. 

In our community, you wore a white corsage if your mother was no longer living and a pink or red one if you were still blessed to have your mother with you.  I remember the day my mom wore a white carnation corsage to church because her mother had passed away the previous year.  And even though I was small, I proudly wore my pink carnation.

My first Mother’s Day was truly remarkable.  Forty-five minutes before midnight the night before Mother’s Day arrived, my first-born daughter arrived in this world.  Her daddy, a military man, was stationed all the way across the world when she arrived, but even that couldn’t thwart my joy about becoming a mother for the first time just in time for that special occasion.

I became a mother twice again and each time that joy increased.  Mother’s Day became even sweeter than before.  Out of all my accomplishments in life, becoming a mother has been the most fulfilling which came as a complete surprise to me because as a young college girl I had proudly proclaimed I wasn’t going to have children.  Oh, the follies of youth.

My own mother passed away from cancer over 17 years ago.  Just four months prior to that, my mother-in-law, who I loved, admired, and honored for raising the fine man my husband became, also passed away. 

Mother’s Day that year was so very difficult.  I didn’t want to celebrate this special occasion.  I opted out of the annual Mother-Daughter dinner held at our church.  I just couldn’t even begin to think about the day with any joy. 

My wise and caring father asked me why I wasn’t attending the mother-daughter event and I told him I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to watch all of the happy ladies sitting and enjoying their time with their mothers when I had lost my own.

His reply surprised me and I’ve never forgotten his words.  He told me he knew the anguish I felt losing my mom.  He had felt that way too when his own mother passed away.  He said he understood the grief is so difficult and that losing your mother felt like losing a part of yourself.

But his next remark was the one that will stay in my thoughts as long as I have memory.  He said, “But, you must celebrate Mother’s Day because you are a mother.  You have three children who love you and you celebrate this day for them.”

He was so very right.  As my dad often was.

So even though there is a tinge of sadness in me when Mother’s Day rolls around on the calendar, I celebrate that day because I am a mother.  I am blessed with three incredible adult children.  I am loved and respected and honored by those three.

This year Mother’s Day brought another first.  It was the first time I shared the day with one of my daughters who celebrated her very first Mother’s Day as a mother to our precious granddaughter.

Papa cut a sprig of fragrant lilac from the bush in our yard and he and I helped our sweet grandbaby awaken her mommy with a card and little gift for her very first Mother’s Day celebration.

My first Mother’s Day as a grandmother will be added to that memory pool with joy and contentment.  And the knowledge of being privileged to spend it with my daughter and adorable grandbaby. 

Even though my other children couldn’t be here to share this special day, I know they were thinking of me.  Their love arrived in phone calls, cards, and beautiful flowers. 

And love surely was expressed in my granddaughter’s smiles and coos.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Unknown

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

This girl

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20-something me in the ’70s

Many little girls dream of the day when they become mothers. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t.

Oh, when I was young, I played with dolls and pretended to be a mommy to them. I had tea parties with my dollies and did all the usual little girl play acting.  But when I thought of my future, which I must admit wasn’t that often, I didn’t envision myself becoming a mother.  No, I imagined my future self as either a famous actress or a well-known best-selling author.

And I have become neither.  But the best accomplishment I’ve ever achieved and one that I will never, ever regret is becoming a mother.  Growing up, my own mother instilled in me that I needed to go to college and become ‘something.’  Mom never worked outside of our home and she was a wonderful mother taking care of us three girls, cooking and baking the most delicious food, and turning our home into a lovely sanctuary. 

An only child, Mom also lovingly cared for her own parents in our home until they passed away.  She was generous, devoted to her family, and homemaking really did seem to make her happy particularly when she used her artistic talent in sewing, crocheting, and making beautiful hand-made quilts. 

Somewhere along my path to becoming an adult, whether it was a nudge from my own mom or just a sign of the times – the late 60’s and early 70’s – I embraced the idea that I did not want to become ‘just a wife and mother’ like my own mom.  I used to proclaim that I aimed for one goal – to be a career woman. I wasn’t interested in getting married, and for anyone who listened, I added that my vow certainly did not include having children.

What I did not account for in my made-up scenario of life is that I would meet and fall head over heels in love with a young man during my junior year of college and I would gladly become his wife three years later.

Still I entertained thoughts of not having children. Looking back now, I really cannot pinpoint why I had made that decision in early adulthood.  But four years after I married my husband, it happened.  I discovered that I wasn’t really suffering from an intestinal bug that made me nauseous and prompted early morning trips to the bathroom, I was pregnant – with child.

I was shocked and unprepared and the timing certainly wasn’t ideal.  My military husband was slated for an overseas year-long unaccompanied (meaning no wives along) assignment and would be leaving soon.   Up to this point, our lives seemed great since we both enjoyed our careers; we were saving my earnings; we had a great social circle of friends; and we did pretty much what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. 

All of that came screeching to a halt when an Army doctor gave me the good news.  Since the baby was due when my husband would be out of the country, I panicked.  How could I bring a baby into the world alone, far away from not only my husband but my family and their support as well?

We solved the dilemma by preparing for my husband’s PCS (permanent change of station) by moving out of our on-post housing, putting most of our belongings in storage, and moving me to temporarily stay with my folks while my husband was stationed on the other side of the world.  My parents eagerly welcomed me home and they were amazing as they helped me adjust to the idea of motherhood.  

A week after Christmas, my own mother held me as I sobbed inconsolably in an airport restroom after kissing my husband goodbye for the next year of our lives.  As she hugged me and stroked my head, my wise mother whispered, “You need to stop crying now.  It’s time to think about the baby.”

And she was right.  As foreign and surreal as it seemed because I wasn’t even showing yet, there was a new little life growing and developing inside my own.  I felt the baby’s first fluttering move on Christmas Eve while sitting in church but it all still seemed so unreal.  

It was indeed time to think about my baby.

It was time to really grow up.  Time to put aside my wants, my desires, my thoughts about myself and my sadness over being separated from my husband, and think of someone else.  Someone who would be solely dependent on me.  My child.

Thirty plus years have come and gone since that day.  When I brought that first new little life into this world, I never imagined the intense love I would feel for that child.  My child.  The day my firstborn was placed in my arms, I launched on a new career path – motherhood.  My husband and I together decided that the best thing for our family was for me to be a stay-at-home mom.

I kissed my former career goodbye and I’ve never regretted that decision.  My outlook on motherhood completely changed when I became a mother myself.  With each child born – and there were two more gifts of life – my joy and blessings increased and so did my deep love for my children.  

A couple of years ago, each one of my grown children married (all in the same year!) and now I am Mama to six adults instead of just three.  My love for my ‘children’ just keeps blossoming and growing and extending way beyond what I ever envisioned.   

And now I am an empty nest mama.  Somehow time flew past in a whirlwind and our house, which once was so full of noise, toys, and childhood mayhem is neat, orderly, and quiet.  And yes, I must admit, it’s also lonely from time to time.

Change.  That’s what life always brings.  And now it’s time for a new change. 

This girl…this girl with her wide-eyed dreams…this girl who never thought she was capable of being a mother…this girl who cherished motherhood more than a career…this girl who watched each of her fledglings soar out of her nest…this girl who is sometimes astonished at the middle-aged lady who looks back at her from the mirror…this girl…is changing again. 

This girl…is going to be a grandmother!

“A house needs a grandma in it.” ~Louisa May Alcott

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©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

The third incredible woman of May

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Incredibly brave while holding a friend’s snake!

“When you become a mother, you stop being the picture and start being the frame.”  ~ Unknown

Today is Mother’s Day and also the birthday of the third woman, born in May, who impacted my life in a significant way.

This young woman is beautiful, articulate and adventuresome in spirit.    Tiny in stature, demure-looking to the world, but if you invoke her anger, watch out because she possesses a fiery, feisty and very passionate side.

Intelligent, but not in a nerdy way, she has compassion for those less fortunate than herself, which is why she volunteers regularly at a soup kitchen mission, encourages a young underprivileged girl as her “big sister” in the Big Brother/Big Sister program and has served others on mission trips.

And oh, does she love to travel to exciting places!   She’s ventured to a majority of the United States and experienced trips abroad to France, England, South Africa, Mozambique, and Honduras.  If she acquired enough financing, she would travel all over the world because visiting every continent is inscribed on her bucket list.

Her highly organized style makes her a keeper of lists – lists of things to do, lists of adventures to take, lists of things she’s accomplished, lists of ordinary occurrences.    Her talents include singing (although she does so quietly) and playing piano beautifully with gusto and emotion.

She understands complex molecular biology yet has a knack for writing with humor and insight, and she loves country line dancing.   She owns an outrageous sense of humor and provides family and friends with lots of laughs.  (Ask her if gullible is written on the ceiling – sorry, that’s an inside joke.)

She loves God first and her family second, and probably her cat ranks third on that list followed by her friends.  And sunflowers are her favorite flowers.  I know this young woman so well because she is my daughter, my first-born child.

My daughter and I bonded long before she actually entered this world.  While her military daddy was stationed across the globe, she, as a tiny baby developing in my womb, helped me stay focused during the time hubby and I were apart.

My life centered completely on hers during that time.  To ensure her health, I concentrated on mine and consumed nothing that wasn’t healthy even abandoning my beloved tea for decaffeinated.

I talked to her each day as she squirmed and performed somersaults inside of me.  I wrote daily letters to her daddy describing preparations for the new life that would be joining ours.

When her tiny foot or knee or fist protruded and formed a knot on the outside of my abdomen, I caressed that spot with my fingers to assure her Mama loved her.  I knew music would play an important role in her life because she “danced” each time I played piano and stopped immediately when the music halted.

One Saturday night, after many hours of labor, my oldest daughter emerged as a tiny, delicate mixed version of myself and my hubby and presented herself to me as my Mother’s Day gift.  Born less than an hour before Mother’s Day arrived, my little one gave me the gift of motherhood in time for the holiday.

Every single concern or doubt I fretted over about becoming a mother totally evaporated when that amazing little baby girl was placed in my arms.  In that moment and in the years to come, I finally understood the meaning of unconditional love.

No matter what she or her younger sister and brother may have done, I neither would nor could ever stop loving my children.   Becoming a mother gave me insight into how God loves us without condition.

“The mother love is like God’s love; he loves us not because we are lovable, but because it is His nature to love, and because we are His children.”  ~ Earl Riney

As I reminisce on this Mother’s Day about all the years I’ve spent as a mother, I realize I never could have accomplished this task without God’s guidance, without prayer, without the understanding of a mother’s ferociously intense love for her child.  And I’m hopeful that I’ve done my very best with the lessons I have learned in motherhood.  I agree with Ruth Bell Graham when she said:  “As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible.”

So as I celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday in my book of Opportunity, Chapter 5, Page 8,  I give praise and thankfulness to the One who gave me the gift of life first, then blessed me with the gift of motherhood, not just once but three times.

Happy Birthday, my dearest Oldest Daughter!  Thank you for teaching me to be the frame for your beautiful picture!   May your day be blessed with the knowledge that you are loved beyond comprehension by God and by your mother.

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

The first incredible woman of May

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My mother with me

With Mother’s Day approaching, reflections of all three of these incredible women dart in and out of my thoughts, so I’m writing a three-part blog dedicated to each of them.

The first woman born in May was my own mother who I lost over 10 years ago.  If she were alive today, she would celebrate her 92nd birthday later this month.  I imagine my mother was an ultimate surprise when she was born to my grandparents after 19 years of marriage and no children.   She surely was the apple of their eye as their only child.

She certainly was the apple of mine.  Washington Irving said it well when he wrote:

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

I loved and admired my Mom so much, it’s difficult to express in words.  I watched her with awe and respect, especially in her last year of life as she bravely and without complaint battled the cancer that was taking her body captive.

Mom was one of the strongest, most determined people I’ve ever met; she had a feisty spirit and she was fun (ask any of her grandchildren!). She loved God, her family and her home.  She was happiest when she was whipping up goodies in the kitchen and watching her loved ones enjoy her home cooking.

Crafts, sewing projects, quilting, crocheting – all right up her alley.  Any ideas to enhance her home or anything she could make with her own hands to give as a gift caught her attention  – just one of the ways she demonstrated her love.  She especially enjoyed planting flowers in her garden and watching her six grandchildren flower as well.

When I was a squirrelly teenager, my mother suffered through menopause.  The combination wasn’t exactly compatible so we butted heads often.  Sometimes, she just made me so mad, I would stomp up the stairs to my room and cry my eyes out.  And I know I made her just as angry.  But not once, did we ever stop loving one another.

As an adult, I realized first-hand the stresses my mom endured.  And I sadly recall  wounding my mom so badly one time during my teenage years.  After yet another ridiculous battle of words I waged with her, I had shouted, “You don’t love me and you never did!”

I’ve never forgotten the look of horror on her face as she recoiled from my venomous words.  She seemed to wilt as she slowly sat down and tears quietly streamed down her cheeks.

I don’t believe I have ever regretted words more than those ugly ones I flung at her that day.   The power to reduce my mother to tears did not give me satisfaction, instead it made me realize what a spoiled brat I was being and I never hurled hurtful words like that to my mother again!

But through those trying years, Mom never stopped encouraging me, giving me good advice when I needed it and loving me.  She urged me to be the first person in our family to attend college.

Without admonition, she expected me to try my hardest at whatever I endeavored.  I remember many late summer nights, swaying gently back and forth side by side on the front porch swing, having conversations with Mom about boyfriends, what college life would be like, and dreaming about my future.

Later, I would make my mother cry again.  When I married my true love and we loaded our belongings into a U-Haul trailer to move half-way across the country, my mother wept.  And every time we visited my parents from our home away from home, she would once again cry each time we said goodbye.

My Mom was always my rock.  She was the one I turned to for help, to vent, to rail against the injustices of my world because I knew she was always on my side.  And she always knew what to say to pick me up, dust me off and send me back on my way.

She provided the strong arms of comfort into which I collapsed with hysterical tears in an airport ladies room after sending my military husband off to a foreign land for a year’s tour of duty.   Pregnant with our first child and saying goodbye to my husband, who would miss the birth of that child, was the most heart-wrenching task I had ever endured.

And it was Mom, who held me tight, rocked me in her arms even while she cried with me, and whispered in my ear, “You’ve got to think about this new little life you’re carrying inside of you.  You’ve got to be strong for the baby.”

I didn’t want to be strong.   But I learned to be.  And that’s one of the lessons I learned from my mother who portrayed strength every day, even as she lay dying all those years later.

Today in Chapter 5, Page 6 of my book of Opportunity and on Mother’s Day, I will miss my mother terribly. But I can almost hear her whisper, “You’ve got to think about your own family, your children.   You’ve got to be strong for them now.”

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  Give Jesus a hug for me.

“I miss thee, my Mother!  Thy image is still

The deepest impressed on my heart.” ~Eliza Cook

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

The gift of being needed

I confess.  I used to announce to anyone who would listen that I was not going to have children.  Yep, that was me – back in my college days.

Rewind the crazy movie reel of my life back to the 70’s when I was a college co-ed.  I was so full of myself.  I bought into the idea that a career would fulfill all my wildest dreams.  I was so very wrong.

The notions and ideas I had of life then boggle my mind now as I revisit my past.  I also used to spout quite often that I was never getting married.  The single career life for me, that’s what I thought.  I even wrote a silly little ditty – “A housewife I could never be, for that would be the end of me!”

Of course, all of that ranting was before I met the love of my life.  After three years of dating, my true love and I advanced to matrimony.  First notion shot down.  Oh well, I still did work on the career thing, even though I changed careers because of dissatisfaction in my first choice.

Then after almost five years of marriage, along came oldest daughter.  Notion number two blown completely out of the water.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the intensity of emotion that flooded over me when I gave birth to my first child.  The powerful emotional bond and overwhelming love I felt for this tiny little human being that had just emerged from my body was something I had never experienced before.  Mother lion would have described me appropriately.

I couldn’t imagine being without her or leaving her in someone else’s care to return to my career.  And after her birth, I didn’t go back to my job, a decision that never disappointed me.  A new career had already been forged – motherhood.  Three and a half years later, middle daughter was born and my intense mother lion feelings doubled.  Son arrived two years after her and now my motherhood role and passionate love for my children tripled.

Fast forward to the present.  Being the mother of my three now-adult children has been the most remarkable experience of my life.   For most of those years, I was a stay-at-home mom, soccer mom, whatever you want to call me, but I have never regretted one solitary moment of my time spent at home raising my children.

Today I was given a little gift, a little bit of retrospect, a glimpse backward into time to remember what it felt like to be just “mama.”   Middle daughter needed a medical procedure done today, one which required her to have a driver afterward.  Last night she drove up from the city and spent the night preparing for this test.   The mama in me kicked in big time.  I shopped for clear liquids which she could drink, fussed over her, checked on her, heated up broth to warm her, and it felt so right and so good to do so – to be a mama taking care of her child.

Early this morning while it was still dark, we headed out into the blustery,  snowy weather for the hospital’s outpatient department.  I didn’t sleep well, too much consternation over daughter’s test.  I spent a good portion of the night and this morning praying that my little girl in that grown up woman’s body would be safe during the testing and that the results would be good news.

While we waited for her test to commence, I wanted to protect her from any harm.  I wanted to take her hand in mine and tell her all would be well.  But what 25-year-old woman wants to be embarrassed by her mother fawning all over her?  They whisked her off and I managed to blow my beloved child a kiss and tell her I loved her.

The nurse called me back to the recovery area as they wheeled in my daughter on her gurney.  She was still sedated from the anesthesia and she looked just like the little princess she used to be as she slept with her mouth slightly ajar.  Her nurse asked me, “Are you with her?”  I answered, “Yes, I’m her mother.”  As soon as those words emerged from my mouth, my sweet one’s eyes flew open and searched the room for me.

I’m not sure I can even put into words the feeling that enveloped me as I realized my daughter heard my voice and woke to search for her mama.  Joy.  Elation.  Heartwarming.  It made me smile as I stroked her head, tucked a tendril of her hair behind her ear, and told her I was there.  She smiled back at me with that groggy, silly way people who are coming out of sedation have.

Driving home, I asked if she was hungry and told her we could stop to get her something to eat, anything she wanted since she hadn’t eaten solid food for over 24 hours.   Ever her mama’s daughter, she wanted donuts.

Right now, my very grown-up, responsible, independent, and self-sufficient daughter is tucked into her mommy and daddy’s bed napping nicely.  Just like she did when she was a little girl.  And on this day, this empty nest mama is rejoicing for the loveliest of gifts – the gift of being needed.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Because I’m the Mom, that’s why!

 

blogdscn0251I didn’t hear Ms. Frizzle declare, “Bus, do your stuff!”  So it must not have been The Magic School Bus exploring the world that I drove past on my way home from work today.

Matter of fact, the bus I passed was empty of students, not a bus full of inquiring young minds.  No doubt this bus driver was performing a trial run since school hasn’t commenced yet in our district.   In just a few days though, that lumbering symbol of back to school will be loaded with boisterous students ready, but maybe not willing, to begin a new school year.

But that big yellow school bus, even if it wasn’t magical,  did its stuff!  The mere sight of it invoked so many memories for me – not of my school days, but those of my children and their school years.

When my oldest daughter started kindergarten, we lived within walking distance of her elementary school, and I can still recall our walk to the end of our block and up half a block on her first day.  I didn’t cry that day because she was so thrilled to be going to school and I was excited for her.  She did think buses would be fun to ride though and when we moved to another town before the start of her second grade year, she got her wish to ride a big yellow bus.

Flash forward to her first year of high school.   I stood at my kitchen window watching her join the throng of neighborhood high schoolers climbing aboard the bus.  She looked so tiny and young to me; it felt like I was sending her off to the wolves, and I cried like a baby.

Middle daughter was so charged to board the school bus when her turn for kindergarten came, I don’t even think she called out “Bye, Mom!”   She happily went to school to learn, make new friends, and just “do.” And she never looked back once.

She couldn’t wait to follow in her sister’s footsteps and she practically flew to the bus stop at the end of our cul-de-sac to hop onto that big yellow bus.  She gained more than one bus buddy during her kindergarten year as she would occasionally come home to tell me which little boy tried to kiss her on the bus.  She was so happily launching her school years and it was such an adventure for her, how could I be sad? Flash forward to leaving her alone in her dorm room at college.  I cried like a baby.

When it was time for our youngest to head off to kindergarten, we lived in a different state.  I still remember valiantly checking my emotions, which had gathered into a gargantuan lump in my throat, as I watched my youngest child climb those steps onto the school bus.  His kindergarten teacher suggested parents follow the bus to school, meet your child in the classroom, observe that your child was settled in, and leave at an appropriate time.

I arrived in his classroom, noticed that he was already busy, and waited.   I realize now that I was hesitant to leave my son, not because I feared he wouldn’t adjust, on the contrary, I wasn’t ready to let him go yet!  I still relive that moment, which literally happened within five minutes of my arrival in the classroom, when he turned to me and said, “You need to go home now, Mom.”  And it’s been that way with him ever since.  Flash forward to the day of his high school graduation as I listened to him practice his valedictorian’s speech.   I cried like a baby.

As I drove by that big yellow school bus this afternoon, all of these memories cascaded into my mind like a swollen stream of water rushing down the mountain side, crashing into rocks as it flows.  The rock of reality abruptly allowed this thought to form in my mind — for the first time in well over 20 years, I am not sending a child back to school.

Of course my rational, logical mind has known that since our youngest graduated from college way back in May.  But the emotional and sentimental “mommy” part of me cringes at this twinge of sadness, pouts at the pangs of bittersweet reality as I  actually face this fact head on.

This time of year is always hectic for moms of school-aged children and it doesn’t stop when the kids trot off to college.  The bills for back-to-school items just get more expensive!  In some ways  though I miss the busy-ness of shopping for school supplies, laundering clothes, sewing on buttons that somehow are missing from someone’s favorite shirt,  helping pack up college necessities.  I predict I’m also going to miss traveling to college sports events and recognitions for this organization or that.

Sometimes I just miss being “Mom.”  Don’t get me wrong.  My children haven’t abandoned me or disowned me as their mother.  I’m pretty sure they still love me.  And they still call for advice on life — yeah, on laundry and cooking too.  It’s just different with your grown up children.  They can handle life pretty well on their own and they really don’t need to rely on you like they did when they were young.

So before I go bury my head in a pillow and saturate it with sobs, I thought I’d remind myself of the lighter side of motherhood.

The following video’s been around for a long time, but I watch it occasionally when I need a good guffaw AND to remind myself that some things about being a Mom I am happy to shed.  These are some of them.

Watch the video and have a good guffaw with me.  Why?  Because, because, because I said so,  I said so!  I’m the Mom, the Mom, the Mom, the Mom!  Ta-da!

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com