Right before I left to pack up my son from his first year at Ohio State I finished the baby blanket for my new great nephew. While working on this blanket I really spent a lot of time thinking about when my kids were little.
I remembered how holding them felt just right. They fit perfectly no matter how much they grew. I remember thinking that I wanted to savor each step of their development, as they met each new milestone. I have never been the type of Mother that felt she knew everything, and my goodness I have made a ton of mistakes. I feel like I am a good Occupational Therapist, I don't question that, but Motherhood well it can bring you to your knees. You wonder if you have done enough or maybe too much. You are always questionings yourself, was this the right way to address this or should I have said or done something else.
I wonder if my Mother felt that way. She was very good about not pressuring us and letting us move and develop on our own. She always was proud of us even when we really didn't deserve it. I sit by my Mother's bedside in the nursing home now and wish I had the opportunity to ask her more questions about how she felt being a Mother. You know when you are young, you are the center of the Universe, you really don't take into account your Mother's feelings or her life challenges. She is just your Mom right? She isn't a real person with thoughts, and hopes and dreams of her own.
My job as a Mother is changing. I don't have little itty bitty ones anymore. I don't have to worry about diapers, feedings and nap time. I think as your children get older your sense of self changes. I felt this way as my kids entered the dreaded teenage years, and I feel this way now as my oldest is becoming a man. I helped him move out of his dorm, and felt that this year has escaped me so quickly. As I drove him to his summer quarters he was giving me directions. I took him out to lunch and we talked about lots of things. I felt so strange, Columbus, Ohio is his place and I am just a guest. I did not feel this before when visiting, maybe because we were consumed with swim meets, this is still a familiar place for me. But on this visit I had a lot of down time waiting for him to take a test, do his laundry and start packing. Downtime in a strange place gives you lots of time to contemplate things. He is moving onto a life of his own, where I am needed less as a Mom and more as..........well I am not so sure yet.
I am so glad he has made this wonderful University and city his home. He walks around with confidence, like he belongs there and he does. He still belongs at home with us, that fact I have to keep reminding myself. As we flew back home, my lovely son was sleeping with his face towards me, I thanked God for letting me be this beautiful boys Mother. I also said a prayer that as we transition from more traditional roles, that we can make it all happen smoothly. I know a boy always needs his Mother, I see that from my husband who cherishes his 94 year old Mother. It is just that things change, and change is not something I have ever been good at accepting, or welcoming.
I am so proud of Mr. 19 year old. He came home with his letter jacket, such a big thing for a freshman to achieve at such a great school. He has tried hard, faltered some, and got back on his feet and finished his first year at school, far away from home. He is home for 11 days before he goes back to train and eventually take a summer class. I am happy for the time we have him here and so thankful that he is holding his own when he is not at home.
Downtime also lets you do some exploring. Besides the bookstore and Target for much needed bedding and towels for Mr. 19 year old, I found two very nice yarn stores. The Yarn Store was exactly 6.8 miles from my hotel and believe me I felt like I hit the jackpot. An amazing store with so many different types of yarn and gadgets. I picked up some Lamb's Pride to make an African Flower crochet bag and this lovely sheep that holds your scissors and hooks from Lantern Moon. Believe me I will be returning to this store many times over the next few years.
Oh and before I go I read an amazing book on my trip. The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley. It is a fascinating read, I was hooked from the first page. It also involves motherhood and so much more. I was so disappointed when it was over, I wanted the story to continue so much. The only problem with finishing this book is that I read that this is the first book by this author, which is a shame because if she had more I would have bought every single one.
Enjoy your day.