Friday, June 1, 2012

Ebb and Flow (Part 1)

I just dropped Dan and Sara off at the church for a three day youth retreat.  At home today it is just Gloria and me.  Because Pauly is working so much, this weekend will mostly include just Paul, Gloria and me.  Okay I lied back there, I didn't just drop them off, I left the keys to the truck in the van and Pauly took it to work so I had to call someone to come and get them.  Ugh! Am I ever going to get it together??

When Robin and Paul were toddlers, somebody referred to the invisible rope that connected a mom and her ever moving baby.  I was amused to see she was right, if I walked away a few steps, the baby would follow (mostly) and if he wandered a little way from me I would follow him.  Both of us, never any farther away than was just right and always aware of where our counterpart was.  

I remember during our move to Mannheim, I was unpacking a bathroom and 13 month old Daniel showed up at the door and said, "There you are!"  It was sweet because it was more inflection than actual words but I knew exactly what he was saying.  The rope was still there.   

Then one day with each child, the rope was snipped.  These little ones no longer felt bound by the hem of my skirt or even the walls of our home. They figured out how to open the front door, they walked halfway across the park, or saw something interesting and went to check it out unaware and unconcerned about where I was. In Daniel's case he walked away from us at every airport, park, church, grocery store, soccer game and one of the worst moments of my life, he walked away from us in Prague.  Holy Cow!  That was scary!  

When that rope is snipped, that is when when I always felt my work really started.

As our kids have grown and needed me/us less it has been less like a rope and more like the tide going out. 

They learned to walk and didn’t need to be carried anymore; but sometimes they still did until one day they didn't. 

They learned to read and didn't need me to read with them.  But they still liked when I read to them.  I still read to the girls at bedtime but not as often I think I should.

They go to school and come home. They go to their friends house and come home. They go to a competition/tournament/concert/camp and come home. 

Each time they come home they are a little more independent, they need me a little less; they've become comfortable just a little bit farther away from me. It happens so gradually though. I don’t even notice how far away they've grown until I look up from my book one day and realize they are 50 feet away and the water hasn't covered my feet for 30 minutes or so.

So I move my beach chair and reassess. How do they need me now? What can I do to help them be successful? What else do I have to teach? What else do they have time to learn? Or are they on the right track and do I just need to be here making sure there is good food to eat when they arrive with their friends?

My time as a mother with children in my home is ebbing away and that's a little sad to me but it has turned into such an interesting time for me as well.  I am feeling reflective of who I've become as a mother/woman/wife/person.  I am feeling the pressure of time to teach and prepare the ones still in my charge.  I am feeling excited to get this all over with, sometimes a little too eager to move onto the next time of our lives. I'm feeling adventurous, thinking of all the things I've put off for all these years.  Things that are now all possibilities.  Mostly though, I just feel grateful, for every minute of my time as a mother.

I look at this weekend as an opportunity for Paul and me to soak Gloria with all the attention that was once showered on Robin. She's parched. This opportunity is a good thing, another reason to be thankful.  But the tide is unrelenting and even though I know they will be back on Saturday, I am watching as Dan and Sara distance themselves just a little more than they did before I dropped . . . before they left on their excursion.


Robin Rodgers said...

This is great! See - you still have great stuff to write.

Bundy6pak said...

I love reading your posts. I admire you so much. I secretly steal advise and wisdom from your words. Love you!