If I told you to quit your job and become a photographer or a baker tomorrow, could you?
And so, when the children leave the nest, how does a mother stop being a mother?
How does she stop being needed?
Stop wanting cuddles?
Stop feeling concern?
Stop thinking of what’s for dinner?
Stop wondering about what is going on in your mind?
Where does she begin?
It’s a slow start, exploration, risks, little and large. Daunting and emotional.
If she was lucky, she kept a part of herself to herself.
Us, we flew to the next.
To a man.
To a career.
To a woman.
To a child.
To a dream.
To the new.
Feeling loss, but not as substantial.
For we carved our world from her, while she kept carving hers with ours.
Over the years, she taught us everything we needed to step away from her. But she taught herself nothing of what she’d need to do the same. It was selfless.
So overpowering, nothing can override it.
Everything from her, poured into us.
Now I know.
To be with her, is to be a little bit of my child self again. To indulge myself into childhood. To indulge her into motherhood. Even if it is for a window of time, it is her time to feel it again. Easing her into adulthood as she eased us into the same. Our turn to tenderly hold her hand as she did ours.