Monday, May 14, 2007

My Children are All Grown Up


I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.
W.B. Yeats

I saw my mom yesterday for Mother's Day, but didn't see much of my own kids. They're both so busy now with their own lives. And I'm not complaining about that one bit!

For some mothers, this time of beginning to let go of their children is very difficult. I haven't found it so, perhaps because neither of mine has actually left my house yet. I mourn the end of their childhoods for reasons to do with nostalgia, but I sure don't regret the passing of my days as their supervisor. You see, although all my life I had wanted to be Queen of the World, I found that sovereignity is, in fact, extremely tiresome when undertaken on a full-time basis. When your children are babies, you are essentially queen of their worlds. You continue to hold dominion for some years thereafter, although once they hit two or so they become intractably argumentative subjects. It turns out that it’s exhausting having subjects in a constant state of being too stupid to know what to do if you don’t tell them.

So I was quite happy to relinquish control in gradual stages as my progeny passed through adolescence and cheered and danced the day the younger one reached 18 and I was no longer the boss of anyone but myself again.

But yes, of course I miss dozens of chubby-armed hugs each day. I miss sloppy cheek kisses so deliciously wet I had to create a need to save them for later. “Ooh, that was a good one!” I’d exclaim to a delighted wee child as I rubbed saliva off my face, closed it into my fist, and slipped my hand into a pocket. “I need to keep that one!”

One of my dearest memories in life is of being at Long Beach the summer my kids were about seven and nine years old. I had gone for a long walk down the sand on my own after supper, and as I was approaching our end of the beach on my return trip, the sun beginning to set over the ocean, I saw two little figures running towards me. These soon distinguished themselves as my sweet babies, galloping as fast as they could, arms open, beaming gap-toothed grins on their faces, calling out, “We came to find you, Mommy!” Shortly thereafter, we crashed together in one big embrace.
I can’t think that I ever before or ever since felt a greater sense of loving welcome. As a much-wanted firstborn child myself, I’m sure I gloried in the adoration of my parents. Walking up the aisle to be married, I felt very much wanted by the man beaming at the altar. But neither of those circumstances could beat that one moment on a beach on Vancouver Island.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I miss the hugs so tight you think you will choke to death!