There is this thing that you do as a mother. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it until just this moment. I’m defining it as watching you go. I’ve been a mother for over 20 years and since the moment my children were born I’ve been watching them leave me. I don’t believe that the sadness of it hit me until just today.
When our first child was born I watched him move out of my body and into his father’s hands. I was so filled with relief from the pain of childbirth that I did not recognize the truth in that moment. The world already took hold of that tiny being and each day of his life was like drawing back a bowstring in preparation to launch him toward his destiny. The thought of it makes me feel insignificant in the plan of the universe.
Every day in the life of my children I watched them go. I watched the beautiful breastfeeding boys grow and eventually reach for that sippy cup. I could see them change from babies in diapers to boys in Spider-Man underpants. I can still hear the singing as they shook their little butts and danced in their “smarty-pants.” It has always been a joy to watch them become who they are meant to be.
At the time I believed that I was blessed with wisdom as I watched them mature into the men that they are but I was missing the vital part. I lost sight of the truth that as they grew up they also grew away. Don’t misunderstand, I have no regrets because I got all those moments as an at-home mother but the reality is that we make life so that we can watch it go. I liked the days when I knew where my children were, when I had some say in how they lived their lives. That’s limited now as they go away to school in foreign places and have jobs at strange hours of the day.
I don’t want to go back to the tiny boy times. We’ve outgrown the Lego room and the veggie tale adventures, but it is still beautiful when I close my eyes and remember them. I’ve watched many people enter my life and move on. I’ve watched friends leave me forever and some for a short time. It can be painful and the sense of loss shakes me. “This may be our last time together,” I think that every time I release that goodbye hug. The truth always coming back to that moment when I realize that I’ve always been watching you go.
About the Author
Sharon Kennedy Angelici was born in the American Midwest but her heart belongs to Colorado. She is a full-time wife, mother, artist and lover of life. She has been writing works of fiction, short stories and poetry since childhood. Sharon and her son are working blacksmiths and artists. They have been making chainmaile jewelry and creating forged sculptures since 2013.
In 2016 Sharon published “Dear Kane; what I wish we would have said.” This short story explores parent child relationships and the devastation of prejudice. The publication is close to her heart and profits help fund, promote awareness and implement educational programs about suicide, depression and mental health through Just Live, inc and dearkane.org.