Saturday, June 1, 2013

Arms and Hearts

     Lately I have been here a lot. In this space, observing people. I see my children grown up and growing away. Away from me. Well, away from needing me like I became accustomed to being needed. Sure, they still need me for things. They need someone to roll their eyes at (because, hey, mom is annoying or just plain weird sometimes) or someone to feed them. Sometimes I still get to do things like laundry and giving them rides. They probably see those things as the biggest favors I do for them. But when I get to bring out their warm, fresh, soft clothes I don't feel tasked. I feel love. When I get to give them a ride and have their full company for those few minutes, it's warm and familiar. Even if we don't talk, there's something so enveloping about being in a car alone with someone you love. Hearing the same music, witnessing the same scenery, breathing the same cool car air.

     Lately I miss those days when they were younger and had to be with me all the time. The days when all of them would have to pile in the van and listen to the same radio. The days before iPods and cell phones. The days when a Joe Scruggs cassette tape in the car was pure bliss and we all sang along. They were always surrounding me like their own little gang back then and it was heavenly.  They were so eager to receive anything I was offering. Now they have their own cars and their own music and their own interests and friends who are not each other and me. Any one of them is capable of going off on their own and not needing me for - I was going to say an extended period of time, but the truth is - forever.

     I still need my mom all the time. I need her to help me keep my emotional, moral compass. Agree with me that right is right and wrong is wrong. See the same injustices, or show me what she sees differently. Help me with scary stuff (which is anything I have never done before) Tell me it's okay that I leave so many projects somewhere between 85-99 percent complete. Somewhere, deep in the heart of me, I know my children still look to me for advice, for pointers, pro tips, if you will. But some days I still want to scoop them up into my arms and just rock them to sleep. Some days I still want to be their everything. Just because I love them more than anything in the world.

     I miss those days when these things were so important:
  • Little Mermaid nightgowns & bedding
  • who got the most m&ms
  • Osh Kosh socks - but they could never, must never, match
  • Cowboy vests
  • Beauty & the Beast sheets, comforter, canopy
  • traumatic wedgies
  • Love You Forever, Roger Poger, Owen and his fuzzy blanket
  • trips to the library 
  • Disney Store
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Dairy Queen Cakes
  • school field trips
  • season passes to Fiesta Texas or Geauga Lake
     These things just don't hold any power now. Except in memories. In memories they are powerful beyond words. Okay, sometimes m&ms can still be important.  There is no more urgency when someone needs a drink of juice. They do  not need, or even want me to fix their hair. Or even my opinion on how their hair should be cut or styled, if you can believe it!

     I no longer have a first grader, a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn. I have a student with a job, a mortgage banker, an employed guy who also takes care of neighborhood pets, houses and yards, and another student with a job who has decided to apply to become a mortgage banker as well.

     I miss the buzzing hive of little voices and all those sets of eyes and ears made me feel so necessary and important. One day, there will be an even louder, stronger buzzing of little voices and  even more sets of eyes and ears. More people to impress with fresh warm cookies and  fingers desperate to grasp sippy cups of oh-so-important juice. Books and cuddles and rocking chairs and trips to the library and the zoo and all sorts of new discovery. I get it now, all those crazy women trying to marry up their kids and clamoring for grandchildren. Their arms and hearts are aching to be completely necessary again. The wonder, once you have experienced it, of sharing every little thing with someone is what it's all about. There's your meaning of life, right there.

     You're welcome.


  1. O M G, I am in the same boat, mine have a car, and work full time in the summer and have girlfriends, I never see them expect occasionally they are so busy and even eat out a lot. I have to make them come home sometimes........I miss my babies a lot!! So I feel your pain, no real conversations only moans of....Oh Mom what do you want???

    I thought it was just ME!!

  2. I have 3 little ones 14, 8, and 2. I thought I was crazy I cry every year when summer break is over and school starts again. I miss my babies so much even when they do little things like sleepovers! I have been home with all of them since birth the thought of them leaving the house for college absolutely devastates us. Some other mothers laughed at me when I told them that I am sad when my kids leave for school because I miss them! Im glad that Im not the only one who misses their babies!

  3. Ah, you went and made me cry. Your words are so beautiful. I can see myself writing this same post but even now when I have a three-year-old and a baby, because I'm so insane that I dwell on how temporary this is. It's like I'm time traveling in my mind sometimes. Other times, totally present. I wish you could easily walk here through a path in the woods (that magically has a portal to get from Ohio to Massachusetts in only a few minutes) and you could rock Des to your heart's content. And Scarlet too. She still needs a lot of rocking.

  4. Like Tamara, I'm crying too! Because I know one day I won't have a preschooler a first grader and a third grader and that I will miss those days and that I probably don't pay as much attention to these days as I ought to. So thank you - to you're "You're welcome." xo