This past Sunday was Mother's Day in the United States. It was the 22nd occurrence for which I was one of the honorees. It was also likely to be the last one for me with one of my children resident. The Friday before the holiday was my younger daughters high school prom. Next week, my older daughter graduates from college. In less than a months time, the younger one will have her graduation from high school. Come the end of the summer, they will both leave, one for college, one for graduate school, heading in opposite directions, to other states.
Life moves on, which is as it should be.
I am not a sentimental person, although I am a person of strong emotions.
I posted a picture of my daughter in her prom finery, and in addition to the totally deserved "wows!" (well, she is gorgeous and she had designed and made the gown, which was also gorgeous), there were comments referencing the existence of sodden tissues and a sense of the bittersweet. I simply do not understand. This was an occasion of pure joy, a celebration of what has been achieved so far.
I could understand sadness if she hadn't chosen to do and be who she is and had accepted, without thought, to be mediocre, run of the mill, or ever less than that. I could understand a sense of the bittersweet, if I were discontented, if I would have preferred to have had a different life. Or even worse, if I had preferred to be in my daughters place, to be belle of the high school ball, again or still. (If there is anyone reading this, who knew me in high school-feel free to laugh at the idea.)
But I chose my life, and having chosen it, did the best I could at it. The preliminary results look promising.
Not to say that is has been easy, it certainly hasn't been. I am absolutely convinced that neither child slept through the night until they were teenagers. As soon as they could handle books and flashlights, we would stash them under the girls pillows so they could have something to look at or read at night. And very very early on, I taught them how to get their own breakfasts (assembled by me, the night before), in a effort to get "just a few more minutes of sleep." Both girls are now very well read and good cooks.
Because my younger daughter has played in the honors section jazz band, and DH works an "unusual" work schedule, I have been getting up between 5:30 and 6 in the morning, and counting myself lucky to be in bed by midnight. For more than 3 1/2 of those years, I just did it. Wasn't easy, but I managed. The end is in sight, the final jazz concert in 3 weeks. And all of a sudden, my body says "enough!" I have taken more naps in the last 3 weeks, than I did in the 3 years preceding. Body and Spirit know that this period in my life is coming to an end and that is just fine.
I love my daughters beyond the ability of words to express. I have every Mothers Day card they have made me (and they always made their cards for me). I have every birthday card, every letter they wrote from camp, the portraits they drew of me, every newspaper clipping that mentioned them. They have been amazing (and challenging!) children.
I can't wait to see the amazing adults that they are becoming.