This is the first Mother’s Day that I am a mother of all adults! Mothering adults is very different than mothering children. The sense of being needed as a caregiver is replaced by a collaborative respect and an even deeper love for the adults that they are becoming. The depth of conversation shifts, and the recognition of the other becomes more and more important. It is no longer a time to tell them what to do but rather to listen to each other and to love through moments of disagreement. It is a time to let them “fail,” and then apologize when you realize that their decision was better than your suggestion. Being a mom is fluid, and I have learned that the harder I try and hold on to what was... the more I miss the present moments. I have learned that the emotion of frustration steals moments of love. I have learned that the biggest feeling of disappointment comes from looking backwards and longing for more or wishing for something different. The biggest feeling of JOY comes from seeing our children in the moment and the hope of the future, especially as they grow into adults. I have also learned that it still hurts to say goodbye and saying “see you tomorrow” is a lot easier (even if it will be months before we see each other). I have learned that college is amazing, and although friends may say that they are still your kids and that nothing changes... college changes everything, for the better. They become the adults that you had hoped they would become — independent individuals that no longer “need” a caregiver but forever love you as a MOM.
The definition of MOM is fluid. However, motherly love is eternal. I fell in love so deeply the moment Ellie was born. Then, when I became pregnant with Caroline, I was actually afraid that I would not be able to love any deeper, and I did not know how to “split” my love. Again, I was trying to define the love of motherhood, but I realized that there is something incredibly magical about the love of motherhood. It has no edges, no boundaries, and really no definition; it just keeps growing! Caroline was born, and my heart felt like it burst a new chamber of love that I didn’t know was there... and then Anthony Jr. stole my heart. Yes, next month I will be letting go again as Anthony steps out of our home and into the Unites States Naval Academy. Yes, I will shed a boatload of tears, and yes, my heart will burst again. I pray that the well of love surprises me and that I remain in the state of gratitude through it all. I LOVE being a MOM, and I pray for each of you today and every day.Blessings, Amy