Like the seasons, motherhood evolves. Sometimes over days and months, sometimes it takes years. One day you wake up, the sun is shining and you realize everything is different.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment everything changed. I can, however, list the indicators life would never be the same:
- Full speed driving me to an appointment (!)
- The boys cleaning out their clothes and snatching some of their too-small t-shirts for my own
- Full Speed calling Mad Dog from school to bring his I. D. and Mad Dog not recognizing his voice because it was so deep
- Picking T. Puzzle up from school and spotting him instantly as he was a head taller than everyone else
My biggest challenge ahead is letting life teach them without trying to interfere.
They are now realizing life can be unfair and cause pain. Where I used to be able to shield them from uncertainty which gave me a wobbly sense of control, I am no longer a barrier to the truth of the world. There are pandemics, political and social injustices, navigating school hierarchies, and the reality even kind and decent souls aren’t exempt from heartache. I am trying to find the balance in talking to them about tough topics and respecting when they want to be quiet.
I am learning, too.
I can’t always make things better, but I can respect the fortitude and resilience of both my boys. They have both shown me in ways big and small they have the intellect and compassion to come to terms with life as it is. My greatest hope as we enter this new phase of our relationship to one another is to walk alongside them.
Who am I kidding?
They already are leading the way.