Every mother knows. Once a mama, always a mama. It doesn't matter how old they get or how far away they roam. It doesn't matter if they're getting on your nerves or handing you a bouquet of freshly picked weeds. It just doesn't matter. There is nothing that ever lessens the hold they have on our heart. No amount of foot stomping or teen-aged shenanigans or strong arming or keep out signs or 'I hate yous' ... there's just nothing that will ever make us not a mama once we've become one.
My son was sick yesterday. His twenty-five year old self was spiking an awful fever and was just laid-out-on-the-couch miserable. And I had to laugh at myself. I felt so bad for the kid - two days off from work, and he had to be feeling so awful that he didn't even want to watch TV. I laugh at myself because I, like you, hate it when their lives hit bumps. I find myself wishing for a magic wand that could just make all their "suffering" disappear. My worst mama moments have been those moments when there's just nothing I can do. When I can't reduce their fever, or pay their over-due bill, or stop the other kid from being mean to them... Yesterday, I just wanted to make him "all better."
And yesterday I was reminded that his bad day was, in fact, still a day. A day in his life. And that I still have him. Even if I can't fix the hard stuff, I can help him to get through it. Even without a magic wand, I get to walk with him, laugh with him, cry with him....and yes, even suffer with him. Because I still have him.
Yesterday, a college friend of mine, had to face the sixth anniversary of her son's death. As I watched my son sleeping under the warmth of the afternoon sun, it wasn't hard to realize what I'd really do if I had a magic wand. Yesterday, I wouldn't have used the wand to put an end to the annoying fever that was stealing pleasure from a young man who wanted to enjoy his day off. No. Yesterday I would have waved my wand for another mama. For a mother who has taught me, through her grief, that not even the death of a child will make us not a mama once we've become one.
Yesterday, I wish I could have waved a wand and given her one more day of temperature taking. One more opportunity to nag the boy and get him to drink his fluids. One more afternoon to watch him sleep on the couch. One more miserable, awful, feverish, fitful, wonderful day with her boy.
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