This was an unusual Mother’s Day; the first time in memory without all five kids.
As my kids grow up and move on, I’m thinking more about how my identity has been forged in my responsibilities to and for them. Being the mother of Sarah-Shannon-Sydni-Daniel-David has been my life for over 20 years. It remains so, but that life expands and broadens with every passing season. Or school semester. Or tuition payment.
Fall 2012 = three girls in college. At the same time. Ow.
I digress: Mother’s Day today, and two of the five – the oldest – are away. One to the south, pursuing the education of her dreams. The other to the north, investing her summer months in a future career.
In years past, they’ve congregated and planned a meal, a housecleaning, gifts and cards and pedicures and all sorts of wonderful blessings. This year, in the midst of a lot of major transitions, we opted to make a new memory.
Today, they gave me beautiful cards with heartfelt sentiments; small, sentimental gifts that meant a lot and were just what I wanted.
And then we went to lunch, me and my youngest three kids. And I thought about the privilege of tackling this second generation of parenting with the two boys (and a few short weeks with the girl) in the time that I have left. I’ve joked with friends who are my age and done, because they had one kid, or maybe two, and the nest is empty and they have time and nobody drinks all the milk and the house stays clean. I look at my youngest and know that I have six more years of active parenting, six years before he’s 18 and able to step out on his own. Sort of.
Some times that seems daunting. But lately, I’ve been seeing it as a privilege. I’ve learned so much in the past 20 years. I’m a different mom now than I was then. I’m praying that I can apply it and invest the time and energy they deserve. I figure God chose me to be their mom. I do well to honor that gift.
So I took THEM to lunch today. And I gave each of them a personal letter, with my sentiments expressed as best I could. I told them why I valued them, what I loved about them and my commitment to them.
It was the best way I could think of to celebrate. I got, and I gave. And I know this: I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without being a mother.
And these kids made me a mother. I’m grateful.
By the way; to the two girls who live north and south, don’t worry….yours is coming. I love you ALL.