Friday, June 24, 2011

Almost There......

I might just be getting the hang of this......maybe. I may possibly have figured out what it means to be a mom to three adult sons......sort of. Or at least I'm on the road to that place, winding and jolting and full of steep hills and potholes that it is sometimes.

One of my goals this first empty nest year was to explore what it means to be that mom: the one who doesn't know exactly what role she plays in her family at present, but is working to figure it out. To write and document and feel each quake, complete with unpredictable aftershocks, as the tectonic plates of my world shift to new places. With each post and photograph and paragraph I am moving forward, steadily if not a bit shakily. And I should be, because of course......they are. I'm quite certain I am not meant to be stuck in the place of their younger years, repeating myself like a skipping record. (Dating myself with a comparison like that......)  I'm also quite certain that I'm getting that message LOUD AND CLEAR from each of them. If I become complacent and begin to interact in the old ways… the ways that are easy and comfortable and comforting…...those ways in which I know by heart how to mother.......a telltale rumble begins and I am duly warned.

I get filled in on the status of their lives via text messages, phone calls, opening doors, closing doors, cars in the driveway, brief visits, facebook posts, appearances at the dinner table or the very rare request for help. These updates come to me on their terms alone and they should. I let that happen and I should. It wouldn't do any of us any good for me to cling to them or tug at them. To impede their personal growth or roadblock their path to independent adulthood. But I want to spend some hours back in the days when our family and this house was their entire world. I doing so I run the risk of impeding my own personal growth; placing a roadblock in the path of whatever else is ahead for me, too.

One of my sons is building a life in a town several hours away. Another lives here but does his best creative work long after my head hits the pillow and often goes to bed just about the time I get up. The third is home for the summer, radiating confidence after a successful first year of college that solidified just how capable he is without the rest of us nearby.

We are interconnected pieces that surround and protect a common core. Traveling independently alongside each other. Doing our own thing but staying in contact. Every once in a while, one of us makes a move and the rest of us shift, slide or lurch into place…...because by definition, we can't not. I think I’m getting it.  

(ps: computer in shop again, no pics this time.)


Anonymous said...

Oh Margaret... I can so relate to this blog post. I find myself at times sending out an email or text to my boys knowing they are busy and also knowing I will get no reply but just wanting to connect with them. It must be a mom thing... Bill doesn't get it. For me, it's hard to find a different way to express this love- beyond-words connection I feel with the boys. I was telling Bill the other day how I love to just watch them interact when we're around them... they're so fun and interesting.
I'm probably thinking about this more because I have stepped out of my busy life for a week. Bill and I are enjoying our time together but more then once I've thought about how the boys would love it here too.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps me to understand my own better and not feel so alone in this "mom" transition.
Much love my friend..... Maureen

Leciawp said...

It's interesting to me to read your thoughts - what I'll be thinking about somewhere down the line...

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