Motherhood

It is Mother’s Day weekend and I am missing my girls.

I miss the eldest playing the piano in the living room. I miss the constant swirl of activity when she is here and the slam of the door when she leaves the house. I miss the musician, photographer, and cribbage player extraordinaire. I miss how she is slightly awkward in the kitchen and how she tries on every dress in the store during a shopping trip. I miss her social insights and gentle nature.

I miss the youngest hanging out in her pajamas all day. I miss my best ever movie and popcorn date. I miss the cuddle buddy and the deep thinker. I miss her sharp elbows, sharp wit, and sharp tongue. I miss her constant reaching to learn new things, whether it’s a clarinet piece, a dance move, or a foreign language. I miss her amazing chocolate chip cookies. I miss how she is both fiercely competitive and spiritually contemplative.

Both daughters are smart and savvy. They go after what they want, and no one, not even their parents, gets in their way.

This is Mother’s Day without my girls at home. While I love the freedom to set my own schedule, I still miss the concerts, piano recitals, dance recitals, tennis matches, and soccer games. I miss the giggle girls together and the occasionally (but thankfully not often) bickering sisters. I miss their witty repartee across the table over dinner, and the way they annoy each other by putting their feet up on each other’s chairs.

Spring 1994

Spring 1994

In my 23 years as a mother, my daughters have taught me far more than any wisdom I was able to impart to them. I have never been a patient person, but am more so because of them. I am more tolerant, more introspective, and at the same time more outgoing. Because of them I care more about sunscreen and less about whether my house is perfectly clean. Their mere presence led me to be a more careful driver, and a better daughter to my own mother.

Because of them I work to keep myself healthier, so that I can be around to see how more of their adult lives unfold. I want to be here to watch as they form deep, lasting, and meaningful relationships with significant others. I want to be present for more graduations, birthdays, and weddings to come. I want to see how their careers unfold and where in the world they choose to live. If they want to someday, I would love to see them tackle this most important job of motherhood.

I would not trade one brief moment of being their mom for any other role. I would not take back the sleepless nights, perpetually crying baby, precocious preschoolers, homework beyond my ability to help, stress of teaching parallel parking and clutch use, or joy of listening to their beautiful voices raised in song and conversation. I love the way “Mommy” has morphed into “Mams” or “Maaj.”

Because I am so proud of the young women they have become, Mother’s Day is a very sweet celebration. They aren’t home for this observance because they are pursuing their own wonderful lives. And I’m good with that even though I miss them. When you embark on the journey of parenthood you know that you want something better for your kids than what you had, and that is just what they are doing – creating their something better. Happy Mother’s Day!

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