Whenever I moan about the insanity of a Vermont spring–from 60 to snowing in a week–my sister Stephanie reminds me, “It’s the rocking of the seasons.”
…Which means, that we’re in a middle place–a place of transition–of this–and of that; that we are, in fact, being rocked into the change this new season will bring, just as a mother rocks a fussy child.
It’s the same place that I find myself with my younger son. At one moment, he snuggles up on the couch against my breast and at another, he drops my hand when someone passes us on the street.
At night, he longs to sleep beside me, and by day, he longs to gallivant with friends.
He boasts of strength and skill and success and then tucks a tiny stuffed puppy into his pocket–and bids me tend to the other stuffed friends while he’s at school.
He leaves me elaborate feeding plans for his penguins while he learns division and builds forts and experiments with loyalty.
I know that this is the rocking of a new season for him–and me. I have an older son so I remember the tumult.
This the beginning of the end.
Soon there will be no cuddling, no hand holding, no requests to crawl into my bed. Soon, his need for friends and accomplishment and triumph will trump any desire for me.
I can’t complain. I fully embraced each of my sons early years with nursing and co-sleeping.
I let go of my career and my identity to stay home with them. I lost all sense of self while I followed their paths to make certain that the road beneath them was gentle and kind.
I am as eager to fly this nest as they are. And yet, not without pangs of separation.
My friend Gail once shared something in a circle of women that I have never forgotten:
What has to die so that something can live?
There are so many deaths in mothering, beginning at the beginning, and arriving every day after. But equally matched with these deaths are the blessings of new life–new growth–new possibility.
If I could make one mothering goodbye wish about my boys, it would be this~that I could capture an hour with them at each stage of our time together–from infancy, to toddlering, to the precious preschool years and the expanding elementary days, to the tender turbulence of the teen.
But there’s no going back. There’s only each moment as it “presents” itself…along this rocking way.
(And how about you? Into what changes are you rocking?)