The sun beat down warm against my back, the sky was the bright blue only known in September skies and the air was already beginning to cool. I was hanging laundry on the line as my sons' playing, chattering and laughing voices floated into my ears from inside the house.
I breathed a sigh of relief with a thought of finally. Finally they are getting along but with also a tense knowing that it probably wouldn't last long.
As I hung up the next shirt, my son's school uniform shirt next to my husband's extra large sized t-shirt, I paused. I stopped and stood back and stared slightly mesmerized but also with small shiver in my heart. I stared at the immense size difference with wonder that someday my boys would be that size too. With that thought came a future filled with visits of impossible unknowables and pictures of my future flashed before my eyes in varying choose your own adventure outcomes. Except do I get a choice at the ending? No, not really. For though every life has a story we don't usually have the luxury of choosing the outcome of it.
As I stared at those t-shirts of the males in my life waving under the September sky my thoughts went like this...
Would they look forward to coming home after leaving for university? Would they greet me with big, charming white smiles that reached their eyes and envelope me in their warm, strong arms? Would they say, "Mom, I'm starving! I need to have that awesome pasta you make (or those burritos, jerk chicken or fish tacos?)" Would they send me flowers on my birthday or just because? Would they joke and kid and make fun of my quirks in a loving, accepting way? Would we have good conversations? Would they talk to me, really talk to me about what's going on in their lives? Would we enjoy each other's company? Or.
Would they resent me because of things I hollered out of frustration or anger in a past argument or arguments? Would they roll their eyes behind my back because I did, said, acted in a way that annoyed them? Would they avoid visiting me because perhaps I'm too meddling? Would they rarely call (or text or email?) because we had nothing much to say?
Would they ever know how very much I love them and would do anything to assist in making them into the wonderful young men I know they will become? Will they look back on these years that I literally poured my blood, sweat and tears into and be thankful and laugh humbly at all the grief they gave me? Because I know there's much, much, MUCH more of that to come. They're only 3 and 5 years old but it seems to only get more difficult, more demanding, more exhausting in ways I never knew were possible. Would I be the same kind of Mother I am to them now or will life experiences, riffs and personality conflicts create a gap to big for a bridge to be built? And what kind of Mother am I now to them? How will they remember me at this point in their lives? Would they remember the fun we had, the day trips, the parks, tickle torture, cheering them on from the sidelines, always, the silly songs I sing, the piggy back rides and rocket rides and playing street hockey and basketball and teaching them how to throw a football and hit a baseball?
Will they remember? All of that and more to come? I know I will. I know I will. It's the best part of being a parent.
My eldest began Senior Kindergarten and my littlest begins Junior Kindergarten next week. I'm rather unsentimental about it all at this moment which is unusual for me. Maybe in part because I feel the last few months of summer, though there were wonderful moments, most of the time it felt like I was trudging through mud, yelling like a crazed lunatic. Perhaps it will hit me next week when I see my youngest decked out in his too big for him uniform and backpack that seems to be the same size as his entire body. Probably. I hope so. Perhaps I am just going through the familiar valley of Motherhood, simply being physically and emotionally drained and feeling under appreciated.
The saving grace with parenthood is that with the valleys there are always the peaks to look forward to. Unfortunately to get to those peaks, you gotta climb the hills...here's hoping yours aren't feeling so steep.