From The Web of Life by Richard Louv
I heard this passage read at a funeral and instantly was transported to a time in my life when getting ready for work every day meant standing at the sink, putting on my makeup, with both of my children- in the bathroom, with me. My son who couldn't yet pronouce the letter l would pipe up "are you going to put on your yipstick, Mommy?" I was transported instantly to the most wonderful point in my life- when both of them simply couldn't get enough of me. They followed me everywhere. I would say "Can't I even go to the bathroom by myself?" They would laugh and say "no." It made me insane, but I also loved it. The adoration, the constant vying for my attention. If they were not in the same room with me, I could hear their chatter. The wise voice of my daughter ever giving advice to her younger brother. Her bossing him at every turn. He didn't care. He thought she hung the moon. He followed her everywhere. He learned to pull himself up by literally pulling on her hair. She would scream "MOM!" When I grew weary of being referee, I would tell them "work it out."
If they were in another part of the house, I would listen to the sing-song of their voices. I would hear them jumping, occaisionally a big bump or crash would bring a "WHAT WAS THAT?" from me. Then one or the other would run to me to tattle on the other.
They loved being in my bed. They loved sleeping together. When I first was single, I rented a house that had three bedrooms. They each had a room at the house. But there was something about the move and the divorce that caused my two year old to no longer want to sleep alone. He would say "Warey, come seep me," pulling on her gown. She was ever the little mother and cared for him.
When I think about Mother's Day, I think about my children. I think about the sing-song of the house, of one or both craning their necks to get closer to me, to look me in the face, to be certain I was hearing what it was they were saying. Of little hands literally cupping my face and causing me to turn from whatever it was that occupied me to give my full attention to them. I think of how they constantly had to touch me and hold onto me or my clothing or how my son would hang on the strap of my purse. I saw one of those quote signs once that said "Motherhood is like being pecked to death by a duck." I miss those love pecks.
I told a frantic mother recently, "I know you are in the midst of insanity, and you can't imagine, but when they are gone, it becomes very boring." She looked at me with a look of disbelief on her face and nodded- "uh-huh." But it does. I live for phone calls or texts or pics sent on my phone of my new grandaughter. I live to be with them- as they are now far-flung and live states away. Being a mother is living for your children- no matter what age they are.
|Me, my sister, my mother. Yesterday. We all wore the same apple green.|