I've been feeling a bit melancholy the past couple of days. For the past 16 years my life has been focused on my children. I have worried, nurtured, nagged and consoled. I have wiped runny noses and kissed boo-boos and tied shoelaces. I have carpooled and helped with homework. I've taught my children manners and how to cook and fold clothes and make a bed and write thank you notes. I've read bedtime stories and played games. I've gone to soccer games, taekwondo competitions, gymnastic meets, swim meets and dance recitals.
I've wiped tears away when other children were mean to mine. I've attended teacher conferences and hosted birthday parties and played with Barbie dolls and plastic dinosaurs. I've cleaned bedrooms and clipped fingernails and braided hair. I've watched Barney, and the Teletubbies and Hannah Montana. I have been the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I've been a driving instructor and a chef and a taxi driver and a zookeeper and a maid.
For the past 16 years I have been a mom.
I have been a mother now for so long that I sometimes forget that I ever had any other identity. I have loved my children with an intensity and a passion that has overwhelmed me at times. My entire life and purpose for existing for the past 16 years has been about being a mom.
And I have realized that soon...very soon...my life will be changing.
The Boy now receives more mail each day than we do. It's all from colleges. In a couple of years he will be graduating from high school and leaving for college. A couple of years after that, The Princess will do the same.
I'll still be a mother, of course. I'll still worry and I'll fuss over them when they come home. But it won't be the same.
What will I do with my days? Who am I if I'm not Mom?