Saturday, 21 March 2009
No one ever tells you how hard it is to be a mother, and if they tried you would probably not believe it.
The hardest part is the letting go, and I know that some of my blogging friends are experiencing this.
It's tough when they go to school, even to playgroup or nursery. You have known their every breath, every nose-wipe - and even more intimate details. Then, suddenly, they are in this grey uniform with laced-up leather shoes and a manly, knotted tie (which you have sewn on to a strip of elastic).
"What did you do today?"
"Did you have a good time? Were you happy? Was everyone kind to you?"
"Yes, I suppose so."
"What do you mean, you suppose so? Did anything bad happen? Is there any sort of problem? You must tell me straight away..."
"I need food!"
Then, seemingly only a few minutes later:
"Have you done that course-work?"
"Have you really done that course-work? This is such an important year. Your whole future depends on these exam results. Are you taking this seriously?"
Another few moments pass:
"You can't go to university until you can iron a shirt."
"Mum, no one, but no one wears shirts these days. And if they do they never, ever iron them."
And then, quite soon:
"Mum, if you need help with the gardening you only have to say. I will even pay for someone to come and remove cobwebs if you need help."
"Thank you, but I like cobwebs. This is an ecologically balanced house."
"Now don't be difficult, Mum."
The bouquet arrived today, from both my sons, and in the background is the statue their father regarded as a guardian of our home: St. Joseph, who had the toughest parenting role of all.
I don't see much of my sons, these days. They are busy. They have Significant Others in their lives. Mothering is on the shelf, with St. Joseph, but it's always there, quietly in the background now.
I tread a delicate tightrope between expressions of love and care, the balance of independence and support.
When you set people completely free there is a risk that they may not realise just how much you care. Giving this freedom is probably the hardest part of love, the hardest part of parenting.
I hope they know.
I believe they know.
And this one came later....From Russia, With Love!