My baby has a bump. A growing, wriggling baby bump all her own (and her husband’s). It delights me. I believe I may even be enjoying it more than she does; although she’s excited, she has to go through all the rigors of pregnancy. I see her pictures, each one bigger than the last, now beginning to see the full loom of pregnancy.
Her 30th birthday was yesterday. She is but a few months off the schedule I had when I gave birth to my first, her brother. She waited until later, as did I. I’d give anything to be there with her but economics is one reality I simply can’t avoid.
I look at her pictures and see this thriving adult, about to enter an entirely life-changing chapter of her life, and can’t help but see in my mind’s eye the little girl she once was. I wonder if it ever truly leaves a mother. Are my children always going to be my babies? Or, will I allow them to grow up?
Not too long ago it was me telling them, in succinct terms, not to parent me. Our relationships are so much better since we passed that hurdle. But I wonder if I am trying to claim ownership of them even as they are fully adult, with mortgages and spouses, college loans and now a baby. Is it that I am so far away that I hold fast to their childhoods, something I can connect with despite the miles between us?
I am so blessed. Even though I can’t see them often, every 1 1/2 years or so, I have a great relationship with both my children and their spouses. We talk every week, sometimes more, and my son still calls every time he is sick to ask what he could be doing to feel better. He called yesterday saying, “I’m dying Mom, what can I do more for this sinus infection?” There were few words I could share as he had already learned the lessons of previous sinus traumas.
My daughter is taking such good care of herself. An avid runner, she is not doing so, preferring gentle pregnancy yoga. I wish I could be there for her, taking care of their baby. I’d move there now if not for the exorbitantly high rents in her area. She plans on working after maternity leave. Her husband plans to care for the baby while studying for his Divinity Masters.
If only the world went according to my plan. But until then, I’ll have to depend on God’s timing and will. And be content.