Meditation on Motherhood

IMG_4065I was never one of those moms who grieved their kids growing up. I thought it was great.

I didn’t want them to be babies forever. Or to be toddling around the house indefinitely. I didn’t want to stand on the sidelines of wet soccer fields with a cold cup of coffee watching confused kids kick the ball to each other on Saturday mornings that seemed to last for months. I liked being the mother of little kids but only because of its impermanence. Its fleetingness was part of its immense charm.

But now, I love that my kids are grown up. And I say that without the least bit of angst.

Oh, I look back and remember them as little kids. How I carried them everywhere, stroked their cheeks to calm them, laid on the couch with their little selves asleep on my chest, sang to them made-up songs that no one else heard. Our private songs.

I remember all that and am glad for that time. But I don’t miss it.

I wanted them to grow up into people. Strong, smart, decent people with their own lives that didn’t involve me. I wanted other people to love them and for them to love other people more than me.

I don’t understand mothers who grieve every step of their children’s growing up. I don’t get the tears at the kindergarten door or the angst at the driver’s license test. The weeping at graduation baffles me. The whole point of being a parent is to raise kids, not keep them as pets.

To those moms who mourn every torn teddy bear stowed in the attic, I say this: each time of life is wonderful in its own way. No time is more precious than another.

Life is a necklace with a lot of beautiful beads.

Jan and Elizabeth