To All The Moms:Young and Old and Gone

“Children are the anchors of a mother’s life.” ¬† ¬†Sophocles

On my FaceBook page I posted lots of pictures of my own mom, but here I thought I would write about being a mom – being a mom with grown children. My middle son once told me that the terms grown children and adult children didn’t make much sense. He claimed he was an adult and grown, but no longer a child.

I’ve thought about that a lot. How do we separate from the idea of the people in our lives, all grown, with beards (I have all sons), and wives, and children of their own, and the memories we have of them as children? How do we separate from the memories of them as little people learning to walk and talk and the knowledge that they might soon be helping us walk and remember the right words?

My sons are all those things to me: men grown with lives of their own, men with wives, men with children that they worry about and help raise with their wives, and the wispy memories of them as boys who I had to bandage scraped knees for, or discipline, or encourage, or teach the basics of life to. How did they grow into men so fast?

I often contemplate how I can be a good mom to them now that they no longer need me on a daily basis. I often have to check myself, when I’m tempted to be overly involved in their adult lives. After all, they are grown up now. My job for the most part is finished.

But that’s the thing about being a mom – we are always pulled by our hearts to love our children – adults or tiny little new humans – it is all the same to mothers.

My own mother is gone now over ten years. She was my best friend while she was here on this planet, giving me advice, helping me with my own children, teaching me till the very end. On Mother’s Day I think I miss her the most. I wonder what she would have thought of my grandchildren. I wonder what she would think of the men my boys have grown into.

Probably the best thing that I have ever given myself as a mother is the permission to let my sons just be who they are as adults. To not make demands on them to continue to notice me and give me their full attention. I had their attention for many years, and now they give most of their attention to their wives, their children, and of course their jobs and friends. I am here still as their mom, but I know I am no longer the most important person in their lives, and that is the way it should be. Thankfully, I have friends and a full life of my own. Thankfully, my sons are happy (as far as I know), and prosperous (for all outside appearances), and doing just fine. I am so thankful that I was the woman who got to be their mom and help them grow up. I am so thankful on this Mother’s Day that I was given the chance in this life to be a mom to three of the most wonderful boys I know (well, I do have two wonderful grandsons and three wonderful granddaughters too, not to mention three very wonderful daughter-in-laws).

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.