January 21, 2019

Motherhood 101: Countdown to New Year’s Eve

My son is with his dad for 10 days over his winter break and will not be back with me until New Year’s Eve. The first day he was gone I didn't get dressed or out of bed. I was overcome with sadness that I would not see him for so long. That got me to thinking about his leaving for university, and I was a mess. I cried for most of the day and pulled out all the boxes of pictures from his childhood and looked at every single photograph.

I am not going to ever apologize for how I love this child. He is a miracle to me. In giving him life, he changed my life. I have never loved anyone as much as this boy, and feel blessed to be his mother. I loved every second I was pregnant and when he was born I could feel my heart beat in a new way. I have raised him to be a good and decent man and after almost 18 years of being together, his leaving me is almost too much to comprehend.

I have raised him to go, but my focus has been in preparing him, not me. He is ready to soar into the next chapter but I am not sure how I will manage.  I am experiencing interesting feelings about this stage of his life. I gave him wings so he could fly away but I find myself thinking about breaking his wings, just a little, so he has to stay a tiny bit longer. I left home at 18 as will he, and I was fine. Not only was I fine, but I was ready. He is ready.

I have embraced this child’s dreams and encouraged him to follow his path and do what he wants with his life. I have wiped every tear, kissed every hurt, listened to every problem, embraced every dream, taught every lesson, and provided him with religion in a way that has allowed him to embrace our faith. It has been both fulfilling and exhausting, but more than anything, it has been joyful. Being a mother to this boy has been endless joy.

It is now only 5 days until he gets home and I am doing much better today. I have been hanging out with friends, seeing movies, organizing my closet, catching up on work, and getting a lot of sleep. It took me a couple of days to understand that I was on vacation and sitting around waiting for him to come home was lame. I am enjoying my first week of vacation and am thrilled that when he gets home I still have another week off with him.

I have spent 18 years raising this boy to be brave and strong and now I have 8 months to train myself to live my best life and embrace my blessings when he leaves for university. I suppose I will need to find a hobby, or perhaps a good man. Something to keep me busy and happy so I don’t spend my time stalking his Facebook, staring at his Instagram, and waiting for him to call. I am going to be fine and must be sure to not visit an animal shelter!

This is an exciting time for my boy and me. I have spent almost two decades being defined as this child’s mother and that will never change. When he goes to college I am still his mother. It is still how I will define myself. I am so proud of my son I could burst and I cannot wait to hear of his adventures. What a blessing it is for a mother to watch her child make his way into adulthood. With each dream he captures, all of mine come true.

I am off to see a movie, then have Chinese food with friends. I have a date tomorrow, and Shabbat with new friends on Friday. Time flies when you’re having fun and my delicious boy will be home before I know it. We will bring in the New Year together, then my son will turn 18 on January 18 and his golden year will begin. I am taking all of my fear and turning it into hope. I will always be his mother, and together we are keeping the faith.