I read a beautifully thought-provoking post by Law Momma about being the mother to a son yesterday morning. I sobbed as I read the post because it was so real and true to me. It raised feelings that I did not know were so close to the surface and those feelings have stuck with me over the past day. I highly suggest you all read the post, especially if you are the mother to a son. For purposes of this post, it is enough to know that Law Momma discusses sons growing up and marrying one day, leaving their mother's fold.
I am guessing that I had a very different reaction to the post than most moms. As a heart mom, I have a special gift that is not given to the normal mom: I know that my time with my children is limited. Not only intellectually do I know this, but I know it with my entire being. I ache with the thought at times. For that reason alone, I sobbed yesterday morning. Beyond that, I had never considered my children leaving me by their own choice.
I have spent a lot of time particularly over the last year making sure my children know how much I love them. I hug them constantly, to the point that all I have to say is "Do you know what I want?" and both kids will either say "a hug" or they come give me a hug. Both of my children frequently tell me out of the blue that they love me. So, reading the post yesterday morning was jarring because in my mind, this type of relationship would have no end. Yes, there might be moments of "Bad Mommy" (which I am told at least 10 times a day), but overall, my children would always place me first and in my mind's eye they will always be pre-school age.
Of course, I know children grow up. Boys become men. Girls become women. And they lead their own lives. I don't talk with my mother nearly as often as I used to (but I do still talk with her a couple of times a week). But, the thing is, at some point, I stopped envisioning my children growing up. When TRex was born, I began writing letters to the man I knew he would be. In the letters, I told him about us and what we were doing and how much we loved him because I knew he would never remember. I dreamed of giving him these letters when he turned 21 or maybe on his wedding day. I stopped writing them though when the Dancing Queen was diagnosed. I couldn't force myself to write a letter for my adult daughter who might not be there and because I couldn't write to her, I felt like I could not write to TRex any longer either. From that moment on, both of my children only existed to me in the moment.
In reality though, my children are growing. I know this--at least with my head. I make plans for their future all of the time. My practical side knows that I must make plans and keep moving forward. I encourage them to dream big and tell them they can do anything. We frequently discuss their futures and who they will be and what is expected. Yet, over the last day, I realized that fear will not allow my heart to believe a future is possible. I fear if I hope for the future and plan for real, my world will come crashing down. But, I know that if the world does come crashing down, it is going to hurt like hell no matter what plans are made. There is no way to hide from pain. So, as of today, I am attempting to overcome my fear of the future and make plans--real plans. Instead of saying the Dancing Queen is going to have a normal life, I'm going to give it to her. I don't know how yet, but I'm determined.