This post is completely unrelated to Joe Wellington. As was the last post I made. But I enjoy that this blog has taken on a form of its own, exploring life and appreciating little gifts here and there as I walk this journey. And, I guess it’s not entirely off-topic, as Joe Wellington wasn’t created out of thin air. I’m sure he adores his mama.
Lately, I find that any moment I can have to myself doing whatever I want is very hard to come by. My son is almost two and very spirited. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with him, and enough patience that would qualify me to be a Zen Buddhist monk.
So a girlfriend and I, who has a son the same age, decided to do a swap one day every week in which one of us has both boys while the other does something for herself. It may only be for an hour or hour and a half… but to me, it is a heavenly hour and a half.
This week, I was able to submerge myself into that heavenly moment of tranquility. I didn’t have a plan but I knew I was going to be able to leave my son with our friend so that I could find something to do. The weather being hit or miss, I decided to test the weather Gods and head off for a walk along the sea. I was able to sit on a bench and watch the waves crash against the sea wall for a good fifteen minutes before the hard rain fell. A sheltered bus stop gave me some relief until the wind picked up and I ran to my car.
I sat for a moment, listening to the rain pound on the car and wondered where I should go next. A café? A store for shopping? But I became mesmerized watching the rain and the hardcore, determined joggers fight their way along the parade through the rain and wind to their stopping point.
Then my stomach started to tighten and guilt tempted me to drive away and find something to keep me busy. However, knowing my son was okay, I stayed put. My stomachache increasing, I tried a quick meditation to help relax. But I couldn’t. My mind continued to think… think… and think… and I wasn’t even thinking about anything in particular. But I could not rid the guilt.
I reclined the seat back and saw a clearing in the clouds. The sun poked through for a moment and I breathed along with the racing puffy clouds above me. “Aotearoa”, or “Land of the long white cloud” is where my husband and I live, 9,000 miles away from our mothers.
In that moment, I thought about being a mum and how funny it is that I didn’t know what to do with myself once I actually had a moment to myself. Have I completely forgotten what it feels like to just sit, alone with my thoughts? Am I that attached to my son that I can’t allow myself to relax even when I know he’s in good hands? Apparently the separation anxiety goes both ways.
These thoughts led me to examine the term “letting go”. I’ve often heard the term, mostly in relation to unhealthy situations, specifically around addiction, but it is now taking on a new meaning for me as a mother. Am I supposed to start the process of “letting go” even though he is only two? How is that possible?! He still loves his little stuffed doggy, still prefers to be rocked at night, still cries for a cuddle when he’s uncertain or hurt… how am I supposed to let go?
That’s when I came to this conclusion: as a mother, I don’t think I will ever let go. I don’t know that any of us should officially ‘let go’ of our sweet little ones (even if they’re in their thirties now!). I think, as adult babies, we will always need to be loved, cuddled, and comforted by our mothers.
Unfortunately, there are some barriers (see aforementioned ‘unhealthy situations’) to this philosophy… BUT I suggest we mums look at it in a different way: How about we trust? We say ‘let go’ by trusting that someone greater is watching over our babies (even the adult babies!). We trust that somewhere, deep down, our babies will always know and feel our love. They might not be aware that it’s there, and they might not ever want to acknowledge it, but a mother’s love never disappears. This, I know. We are all imperfect beings, all of us mothers doing the best we can, wherever we are, but it is always with love.
Sitting in my car, listening to the rain, watching the waves, I relax and enjoy my time alone, trusting that my son certainly knows how much his mama loves him.
Then I think of my mom, on the other side of the world. And I get tearful when I think of her love. I get so emotional about it that I can’t even put it into words. Her love goes beyond any realm of understanding.
And I’m sure your mother’s love does, too.