Today is a celebration of mothers. There are no requirements to be celebrated, because being a mother is good enough. You can be a good mother, a bad mother, a mean mother, or an angelic mother. You just have to be a mother and most days I think I am a very good one. This year however, I find myself wondering if I have done my job well.
My son is 18, heading off to college, and so next year, unlike the past 18 years, we will not be together for Mother’s Day. I have not been with my own mother on Mother’s day for two decades and we are incredibly close, so I know it won’t change my relationship with my son, but there is a subtle yet solid change in the air when it comes to this day.
I have raised this boy to be a kind and decent human being, and he is. While not always kind and decent when it comes to how he deals with some of my rules, he is a good kid and will be a great man. This week we will fly to England where he is in the final round of auditions to attend one of the most prestigious theater schools in the world. I am proud.
I am also nervous. He will be really far away and it is not like I can drive over if he needs something. The truth is that my feelings would be the same even if he were going to a local college in Los Angeles. I want him to spread his wings and fly, but I also want to hold on a little longer. I am completely aware that this is all about me and not him.
I have never lived alone. I went from my parent’s home, to roommates, to marriage. When my marriage ended I had my son and so it was he and I. When he leaves for university it will be the first time in my entire 48 years I have lived alone. If I am completely honest, I’m scared. I don’t know what I will do without someone to take care of.
I mentioned this to my son and he pointed out that I can finally start taking care of myself. He says I will read more, travel more, do things that I love and don’t have time for because my life revolves around his. Valid points of course, and there are things I suppose I look forward to, but at the core of my soul I am his mother and I’m nervous.
I will always be his mom, and he will always need me, but my daily life is about him. I have a full life, but it all comes back to him in the end. When you have spent 18 years doing a job a certain way, then the job changes, there is an adjustment period. It is in this time of transition that I worry if I have been a good mother and pray I have.
Will this boy ever know how much I love him? What an honor it has been to raise him? That everything I do is for him? Will he understand when I move to where he goes to school, get a disguise, and a then a job in his neighborhood so I can watch him? Will he forgive me when he realizes that I am not joking and seriously considering making a move?
When my son was 13 he said I needed to be married by the time he graduated high school because it would help determine where he would go to college. He said if I were married he would go away as I would not be left alone. If I weren’t married, he would go to a local school so he'd be close by. That was the beginning of this blog.
After 5 years I am not married, and he is going across the world for school. That is proof I suppose I have done my job well. He is fearless when it comes to pursuing his dreams and I am brilliant in having convinced him it is okay for him to go. In so many ways we have raised each other, and while hard, I am happy he is going away to school.
He has been my child, friend, confidant, teacher, spiritual advisor, dating coach, nurse, life coach, trainer, therapist, and court jester. He makes me laugh and cry. He makes me grateful and inspires me to pray. He is wrapped up in my heart and the single greatest human being I know. He is going to change the world for the better, just as he did me.
Happy Mother’s Day to me. I did a good job and this day is about taking pride in that, not worrying about my empty nest. To all the women who are raising remarkable children, to all men who are both mother and father to their kids, and to all the people who have had a hand in raising my child, Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you all have a wonderful day.
I also want to tell you that you are doing a good job. There are many mothers who never hear that and so I am telling you, you are doing a good job. We all question ourselves, and wonder if we have done good enough, and in the end we have. We can be very proud of ourselves. I'm proud of you, and will tell you every single day if you need to hear it.
I am proud of myself. It has been hard, and I have made more than my share of mistakes, but if you ask my son if I am a good mother he will tell you I am the best. Not because he thinks it is the right thing to say, but because he believes it to be true. Happy Mother’s Day to me! I wish you all a happy and healthy day. Be proud and keep the faith.
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