Why is it that as soon as your kids become really fun and interesting to you, you become really boring to them. I think I have a great relationship with my children and I know they love coming home, but at aged 21 and 19 (boys) and 17 (girl) we are no longer top of their list of people to spend time with.
You invest your mind, body and soul and of course blood, sweat and tears into them as they grow and then they move on without you with consummate ease. I think this means I have done a good job, I have raised happy confident children who enter the next stage of their life with a sense of excitement and adventure and not fear and trepidation, but what about me…..
The thing I find the hardest is the lack of control over what happens to them. I am a helicopter Mum, hovering at a safe distance, ready to swoop down the minute I think someone hasn’t treated my children fairly. I would give everything I have to give them their dreams (not totally unrealistic) of becoming a pro golfer, Rugby player and fashion photographer, but its out of my hands and I find this incredibly difficult. I literally have to restrain myself from writing to coaches and teachers and telling them how brilliant my children are and can they not see that and if they cant then they mustn’t be very good at their jobs and then I remind myself that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I don’t know how good they are, these people are great at their jobs and most importantly, such an email would result in my children never speaking to me again.
Like every mother before me, and every mother after me, I just have to take a deep breath, congratulate myself on their independence and make the most of the time I do see them to lend them money, do their washing, produce a conveyor belt of food, tax their cars and tidy the bomb site left by the blissful few days they are home.
Do read the passage below, its a brilliant summation of our role as mothers.
“When God Created Mothers” By Erma Bombeck
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can‘t imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Can it think?”
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
What’s it for?”
It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
You are a genius, ” said the angel.
Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.