And the countdown continues! Two weeks from now I'll be busily packing for the west coast and another visit with the kids. It's hard to believe they have already been gone for almost 5 months (and even harder to believe that it has been 2 1/2 months since I have seen them in person!)
Being a mother is one of the most exciting, rewarding and difficult tasks a woman can achieve. Born nurturers, we begin our journeys with an overflowing love in our hearts which grows stronger every day (if that is even possible). We kiss boo boo's, we bathe, we nurse illnesses, we cheer loudly at achievements and we constantly reassure our kids that they are perfect, even when they aren't.
But at the end of the night, we collapse. We're tired. Our clothes are often stained, our hair is a mess, we smell like whatever craft we just finished and it's a thankless job.
Until it isn't.
I settled down on the couch one evening at about 9:00 pm. I was exhausted - it had been a really long day at work. Bubba had been difficult the week leading up to this night. A growing 8 year old boy, he was becoming fiercely independent. He didn't like school much... in particular his 2nd grade teacher. She wasn't warm and friendly. She was an older teacher, scheduled for retirement at the close of the school year. It showed. She had lost her bubbly excitement for educating. She was tired. I get it. But that didn't make my life any easier.
Bubba struggled with his papers. It seemed he had them every night. We spent hours at the dinner table going over his homework, which seemed absurd to me at that age. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. We were both tired of the battle.
So I reached for the phone and I called my momma. I needed to get a couple of things off my chest and she was a fantastic confidant. I could be totally vulnerable with her and get rid of all this stress in one call. When she answered the phone, I launched into a 15 minute rant over my past week's events. I'm not even sure I let her say hello before I started going off. I was exhausted. So much I couldn't even think straight. She listened intently, quietly interjecting her umm, huh's as if to reassure me she was listening and she agreed. When I finally took a breath, I let my real words flow.
"Mom... I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry for all the times I was difficult for you. I'm sorry I was pushy, that I disagreed so much. That I wasn't very nice to you at times. I hope you will forgive me for being a tough kid. And more importantly, I want to thank you. I have no idea how you raised 4 children. You are an amazing mother, then and now. I have no idea how I would have made it this far without your love. I love you, Mom."
I could hear her smiling through the phone. She wasn't much on all that mushy crap. She answered matter of factly.
"You're welcome, Jenny. It's my job. You're going to do just fine. And I think you are a terrific mother. I promise it gets easier, eventually. Hang in there."
We wrapped the convo and I set off to bed. I didn't think about it much after that, other than to giggle sometimes knowing I was getting exactly what I dished out to her.
My phone buzzed with a text last night. It was a simple line from Bubba: Mom, call. I shot a text back: can't call now, in a meeting. Call in an hour or so. All okay? He responded: Yep, all okay.
Deep breath. Sometimes I worry when I can't grab a call or text from the west coast kids. I want to be there when they need me... every time.
My meeting went into dinner with friends. As soon as I walked in the door, I remembered to call.
"What's up, Bub? Is everything okay?"
Within a few words, I was immediately transported back to the call with my mom. His message was simple.
I just wanted to call and say thanks for being such a great mom. When I was little and now. I don't know how you did it, but thank you... and I love you."
Potty training the toddler had pushed his buttons for a couple of days. Watching his wife's undying patience? Reminded him all he needed to know.
Mothers are AWESOME. Everyday. Endless energy to handle everything that comes up.
"If men were left to have children, Mom.... we would be extinct."
Yes son, you would.
I went to bed smiling, much as I bet my mother did so many years ago. We had come full circle. His new found appreciation for what I did for him would never end, as mine never has for my mother.
A triumphant day. I can't wait to get my arms around that big boy's neck in two weeks. I'm pretty sure I will squeeze a little bit tighter this go around.
My final words to him last night?
"Son... don't forget to tell Sassy every single day how much you appreciate her being the mother of your children. Because she IS awesome... everyday!"
"Yes mom... I will. I promise."
Have a great Thursday, friends!