Here it is, Mother’s Day, 2013. And yesterday, I celebrated the 18th birthday of my youngest son, Geoff. With him leaving home very soon, I will now become a mom of a different sort. My older boys have already left home and while their departures were hard, I still had one more son to mother on a daily basis. Soon there will be no more day-to-day asking a son to pick up his clothes, do his homework, watch his language. No worrying about what time he’ll get home. Yes, I will continue to worry about my boys, but now always from afar.
When I was in my twenties, I didn’t think I’d ever be a mom. I was a “career woman” and children weren’t something I thought I wanted in my adult life. You see, my parents both worked long hours to support five kids, so when I was a child my responsibilities often included taking care of my younger siblings, including cooking and cleaning. I didn’t mind, but I may have felt that I’d already had a parenting role and was ready to just take care of myself.
The alarm on my biological clock rang out loudly when I was 33. I don’t know what set it off, but I suddenly and desperately wanted children and so convinced my husband that we should start a family. You see, this wasn’t part of the deal when he married me, but he did go along with the plan and then became enthusiastic about our twins, Jake and Tom when they were born on his 39th birthday in 1988. And again when our “happy surprise” Geoff, was born in 1995.
The time since I became a mom has been a period of love, frustration, patience, frenzy and guilt. I was not and am not what I consider a great mom. There are many mistakes, some huge ones, I have made along the way and I can see them clearly now even if I couldn’t at the time. But my sons are resilient and remarkable people, becoming everything a mom could hope their children might be. They are responsible, smart, kind and happy young men, each finding their individual definition of success. And they make their mom extraordinarily happy and proud.
The photo here is of me with my three sons and my mom on the advent of her 80th birthday. She continues to surprise and delight me with her rational advice, quick wit and tremendous energy. Thank you, Mommy!