Thursday, February 07, 2008

being 'bleah'

I haven't wanted to post, because as some wise person once said - If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But after keeping quiet for several days now, nothing has changed. I decided to write. Sometimes writing helps.

It's not that I'm snippish, or bad-tempered, or ferocious, like the lion-fighter of my dream. I'm just a bit lacklustre. (Don't you love that word? Let me say it again ..... lacklustre)

I suspect I am grieving a little for my children's babyhoods ..... which I'm perfectly aware is silly and ungrateful, not to mention tedious for you to read about (again!). It's ridiculous to feel maudlin when your children are growing and thriving and happy. It's just that I am sensing the beginning of their breaking away from me, and I'm sad. I wonder how mothers the world over deal with this? How do we each carry these babies in our bodies, feed them from our breasts, hold them, comfort them, sing to them, walk with them, swim with them and throw balls with them....... and then watch as they roll their eyes at us, refuse offers to spend time together and push us away impatiently if we hug them too long? How do we go from skin-close to a respectful distance?

Maybe the answer is - gradually. Slowly. With a few tears, and with consolation and understanding from partners and friends and other mothers. With the knowledge that we have done well to raise children who are independent and resilient.

And, I hope, with the occasional quick tight hug from a growing-up child who still loves their mother much more than they show.

18 comments:

TUFFENUF said...

I know just how you feel, Jelly. Preston will be 18 next month. It is breaking my heart. His babyhood was just a blink, then childhood lasted about 10 minutes. I am pleased that he is now a young man, but our time together is so short. He would rather spend his time with friends than with his old mom. My only advice is to take lots of photos of your lovely children!

Motherkitty said...

You know you have failed when raising your kids if they DON'T want to leave you and all the comforts of home. You know they have a problem when they don't make friends, depend upon you to "entertain" them.

Be thankful, dear mother, that you have wonderful, healthy, interesting kids. Join the club, cry your eyes out, and then dry them. Love every minute you have with your children.

The big shocker comes when they get married (or not), and they start having kids. That's when you have to bite your tongue and wait to be asked for advice (doesn't always happen -- mother, I can do it myself). That's when you will truly start to feel old.

mackeydoodle said...

With the kind of love you give they will never be far away. Heartstrings keep family close together.

Heidi said...

How do we go from skin-close to a respectful distance?

Good question... but I also love the tears I get when I see them holding their own with their friends or in their class... especially when they don't think I am looking. I love when they are excited about the things they do in their world (my oldest LOVES school) and hopefully will always share with me these stories...

My mom and pop always reinforced that we kids were always welcome to come to them no matter what... and we did. Your children will feel that love always and know someday how important it was that (said with a whine) "mom always tried to still hug us 'n' stuff"... it makes a good impression in the long run, I say.

Okay... sorry, kind of rambled a bit... my heart goes out to you, Jelly!

thisisme said...

Sometimes a hug is all I've got to give - so, here is a whole parcel of them. {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}

Remiman said...

Jelly,
I won't say I know how you feel, 'cause I don't. but I know you're hurting and so I offer my shoulder, and a listening ear. ;)
rel

Kerri said...

I love those tight hello and goodbye hugs I get when we see our kids these days.
Your words brought Billy Joel's 'Lullaby' to mind:
"Goodnight my angel, now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart, there will always be a part of me"
The whole song is beautiful. Do you know it?
Jelly...you have years of enjoyment ahead of you..and thousands of hugs :)

Redneck Mommy said...

I'm struggling with the fact my children are HALF grown. In five years my daughter will be DRIVING.

I swear it was just yesterday when I was screaming at the nurse to just shove her back in...

Susan said...

Enough already, quit your whining!

Just kidding, sorry, couldn't resist...

Hey, I was just thinking, my youngest daughter (age 25) is thinking of moving to Australia, do you think you could watch out for her? You know, to help you over your empty nest syndrome and all, just let me know. And she will probably need a doctor at some point, and a job...

Have a great weekend!

meggie said...

Our little Grandson has begun school. I think I felt more sad than his mother! He started so well, but has turned a little clingy.
It is hard letting go, & I think it is ok to be a little melancholy if you need to be.
Everything changes, & they will always love you.

fifi said...

Now there's a word: snippish.



If you are fast enough and string enough, you will still be able to kiss the nose (very hard) of the boy till he is ten. Or even more, who knows, but you do need to develop special manoevres. I am very sure you will be able to come up with some.

I do know what you mean though. I never thought of "having babies" as "having big kids". I though it was all over when those little teeth fell out...

Stomper Girl said...

I know how you feel. But I take comfort in the fact that we will still be their number one choice for when they are hurt or sad or frightened. For a while anyway.

freefalling said...

I thought I left a comment here the other day - but really it is no great loss that it didn't take.
My really helpful suggestion was to take an iron tablet.
oh yeah - I'm real good with advice.

John Cowart said...

"Life begins when the last kid leaves for college and the dog dies".

Ginny and I think of our six kids as a parenthesis in our marriage. We loved and cherished eachother before the first one was born; now that the last one has left home, we rejoice in eachother.

We grew 'em to go.

Sound cynical?

At Eve's marriage yesterday, Ginny grinned; I was the one dabbling my tears with my hanky.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Oh Jelly, it's a mother's lament, isn't it? I can emphathise with you. Even now, though my girls have their own children, I treasure every time spent with them and every hug given...I hold these times in my head then pull them out to replay when I feel a little insecure...or something.

shellyC said...

Watching your kids grow up is hard and incredibly joyful at the same time! I love watching my kids be more independent - like making their beds and emptying the dishwasher!!!!! The many cuddles of toddlerhood and now replaced with wonderful conversations of primary schoolers - which are funny!
Do what I do - insist on a "morning hug" and of course a goodnight one!!

Sandy said...

Everyone here has given you such nice words of comfort and advice that there isn't much for me to add. Yes, we all cry and feel sad with each step our children grow apart from us as they make their own way into the world, but you would cry even more if they didn't want to go. You'll adjust...You have too in order to get ready for the BIG ONE...the complete Empty Nest that Tuffenuf is about to experience soon. That's a big heart breaker and a big hurdle to overcome, but it ends with an even bigger reward.

At least Ben & Laura are still at home and you have several years to enjoy them. Plan fun family outtings but remember that now you will have to take one of their friends along on your trips. It'll be fun...enjoy the next phaze.

Mimi said...

What I did was get a dog. I know that is probably not the answer you were looking for. I grieved also because I didn't have a son. I was delighted with my four girls but realized one day that I would have like to have had a son also.

Mimi