Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother to Mother

Do you ever wonder if the day will come when you’ll stop looking at them misty-eyed and in amazement when all you’re doing is having a simple conversation about their jobs, their plans, or their life? Or when you’ll stop imagining the soft, squishy arms and legs from their childhood? Because when you reach out as you walk by, as they’re sitting at your kitchen bar shoving Tostito chips and salsa into their mouths like they haven’t eaten in days, and you give their arm a little squeeze, but all you feel is firmness and strength.  

When our children were growing-up, we spent so many days and nights praying for what we all have now. Children with decided paths, strong and positive points of views, and children who are finally independent and perfectly capable of surviving without us should they have to do so.

From toddler to teen and beyond; we cheered, we cried, we were disappointed and proud. And we all said at some point, “Gracious, I cannot wait for the day they’re all grown-up and I don’t hear Mama called a hundred times a day!”

But you know, that never turns out quite like anyone expects it to. The quietness is stifling. The amount of un-need and lack of attention we continue to receive is devastating.

If we’re lucky though, it all comes back when you least expect it to. And amazingly enough, it’s somewhere around the time that their lives are beginning to have big changes. Weddings, babies being born, their “baby’s” first day of school, teen angst, and “children” driving vehicles.

But what is more amazing that any of that is this: those misty-eyed looks, and soft, sing-song voices; now they come from somewhere else as well. It doesn’t happen every time, but probably one out three times that I call home during the week, my own mother will answer the phone and I can hear her telling my daddy in the background who it is on the phone. And when she says my name, it rolls off her tongue so soft and sweet, it’s how I imagined her to have said when I was a baby. And many times now, when we are talking face to face, her eyes will become misty as we reminisce about one memory or another.

I wonder when my children hear me speak now, if they translate that softness into what it is, or if you have to be a certain age to even understand that it exists. Kind of like those whistles that only dogs can hear; I wonder if only grown children can began to hear that softness again that was certainly used in their first days/years of life. That softness reserved for the people we brought into this world, for the people that we love the most.

Because that is the same softness that will reverse, and be used by children for their parents as those roles also change through the years. The cycle of love between children and parents is ever evolving. Happy Mother’s Day to all who help keep it going. 

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