It was bound to happen sooner or later that there would be a Disney reference as this blog is more of a reflective piece today. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. I think about all of the sacrifices my mom has made for her kids and how blessed I am to be able to celebrate with her tomorrow. I think about all of the gifts I made for her as a child and the emotions she felt on that special day to honor moms. I think about the headaches I caused her. The times I didn’t call to let her know where I was when I was a teenager and the times I just ignored her when she tried to ask me questions about what I did at school or with my friends. I also think about the time I told her when I was going to become a mom and how she was there in the hospital when both my babies were born.
It’s funny how things come full circle. This week, I got to attend my daughter’s Mother’s Day luncheon in her kindergarten classroom. She escorted me into the classroom. She sat me down in my chair at a table that was decorated with nice silverware and a placemat with her hand print next to a poem. She was so excited to serve me a salad on a glass plate, and place my napkin on my lap. It was a lovely day. Of course, I cried.
As the weekend approached, my 5th grade son went about his plans. We went to a baseball game where he saw all of his friends and asked if he could sit with them. I said sure. He hung out with his innocent group of homies the whole game. Coming over to me occasionally to where I sat with my daughter a few rows back. Often times, the check ins involved requests for money so he could join his friends at the concession stand for ice cream or to tell me that he and his friends were going to walk around the ballpark area. The next day, another homie calls and asks if my son can come over to his house to hang out. I barely put the phone down before my son was dressed and sitting in the car while playing his DS waiting for me to drive him to his friend’s house. Then I get the call after a few hours from him.
“(Friend’s name) is asking me if I can sleep over tonight. Can I?”
“Do you need extra clothes? Toothbrush?”
“No, I’m good. So I can stay the night?!? Great! Love you mommy!
“Are you sure you will be ok?
“Yes, I’ll be fine. Bye mommy!”
I hung up the phone. Of course, I cried.
While both moments with my children involved tears, oddly enough both were tears of joy. For my daughter, they were tears of happiness and joy through and through. She was so proud to show me her Mother’s Day art work and I was so looking forward to the lunch that day. For my son, it started out as tears of sadness as I was just devastated these moments of independence for him were growing more and more frequent. Something I have not been looking forward to. But later (much later), those tears for my son turned into tears of joy as well. While I selfishly want him to need me all the time and not want to leave my side, as his mama I want him to grow independent and content with the fact that I trust him to be responsible and respectful. But man, that trust part, that letting go part; however big or small; is so damn hard.
I posted an article on our facebook recently that talked about 5 characteristics of grit. The first one is Courage. Courage is directly proportional to our level of grit. It takes courage for children to overcome fear in order to grow and accomplish things they have never accomplished. It takes courage for a parent to let go and let their child independently thrive. There were moments when I watched my son struggle whether it was getting up on his own after falling, or it was figuring out a question on his homework or it was some other project. Every time, I reassured him that he could do it and that was why I wasn’t helping him. So now, he is reassuring me. Reassuring me that he can be ok when I am not around.
On this Mother’s Day, be courageous and be content with the fact that our children love us whether they are attached to us at the hip or whether they barely notice we are there. We mean the world to them because they mean the world to us.
Happy Mother’s Day!