Two female acquaintances see each other in Shop-Rite. Their eyes lock before filling with tears. Their brains register with the same thought, the same realization, the same sadness. They are mothers. Their children have just graduated 5th grade, leaving the younger part of childhood behind. As the kids experience growing pains, the mothers are too.
People tell us all the time to enjoy the kids while they’re young. We do. And as much as we want to absorb EVERY FIBER, EVERY MOMENT of their childhood, it’s impossible. There are too many and our brains just can’t do it. Besides, absorbing those moments won’t bring them back. That’s life.
But I wasn’t prepared for the pain this part of motherhood brings. The natural progression of my children away from me is immensely painful just as being with them, watching them, is exquisite. The pain is always present, of course. Most of the time I’m able to push it away along with other painful truths like the inevitability of death. The pain of growth becomes acute again on every birthday, theirs or mine, as I realize we’re moving toward some excruciating farewells. [Read more...]