I hope you will indulge me today, as I leave weight issues behind to wax sentimental about my oldest son. This week he reaches a milestone – 20 years old, no longer a teen. He is getting older… and seemingly so am I:(
Mothers love their children unconditionally. We recognize their faults and brag about their accomplishments. For some of us, our children are the centers of our lives for many years. That can be both a good and a bad thing. We can’t wait for them to grow up while also wishing they’d never grow up. But the day eventually comes when we realize that they are no longer our little kids.
I am proud of my son for so many reasons. And the things that make me proud have changed over the years. I was proud when he first rolled over and took his first steps. I was proud when he made good grades in school. I was proud when he earned his Eagle Scout rank. I was proud when he joined a slew of activities in college and stepped outside his comfort zone. I was proud when he called his grandmother on her birthday with no reminding.
And as his mother I still worry about him, maybe always will. But that too has evolved over time. Once I worried about his poop and leaving him with a babysitter. Now I worry about him making his connecting flights when he travels back to campus. I worry about him not being able to find a summer job. Some worries never change – when he is sick (because he does call me from college to ask which medicine to take and if it is okay if he goes to the dining hall with a fever); if he is happy; if he has surrounded himself with good friends; if he is making smart choices. But now it is more a random thought in the back of my mind and less a constant condition… probably more a function of him being so far away than being older. Out of sight is occasionally out of mind. But that is a good thing and part of growing up… for him and for me:)
Don’t think I am one of those mothers who imagines her child to be perfect. He isn’t, but then neither am I. And some of those imperfections seem to be inherited directly from me! But his good qualities really do far outweigh his not-quite-so-good ones:) And to brag a bit more – he is smart and funny and not embarrassed to hug his parents in public or have us post on his facebook wall. He tells me that he loves me. And maybe best of all – I not only love my son, but I really like him too. I enjoy spending time with him and talking with him. He is a joy to be around. It makes me smile just to be writing about him:)
I consider being a mom to be my greatest accomplishment. I hope that when I am old and gray and sitting on a rocking chair somewhere, my son will still be calling me just to chat and say he loves me. Because he wants to – not because his mother nagged him to do it!