Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gone Baby Gone

My son and his wonderful girlfriend were here and now they're gone. As always, the hole that is left in my life by their departure is vast and it hurts. Childbirth was nothing in comparison to this.

Here is the curse of early motherhood. You are close enough in age to your children that they sometimes feel like quasi-siblings, which means that during the time that you were intended to explore and experiment, you were a parent. When parenting becomes less of an active job and more of an observatory occupation, you go out to see the world--and with everything you see, you wish your adult children were there to see it all with you.

And then they come and they go--or you visit them and leave--and you hurt more than you ever thought you could. You realize that the loves of your life are your offspring--everyone else was just an amuse-bouche--and you wish more than anything that you could become an on-tap, drop-in-when-you-have-time-kids sort of Mom with cookies fresh from the oven cooling on your kitchen counter and beer in the fridge. (Although that is a nauseating combination, isn't it, come to think of it...)

By the time I'm old enough to stop roaming around and am ready to produce gingersnaps and snickerdoodles again, I'll be too old to be any fun for my sons to be around. (Feel free to edit that sentence--if it weren't mine, I certainly would.) Right now I have learned that I'm happiest when I can see something new with one of my children--I'm lucky. They're explorers too.

I've learned where home is and it is near my children. But there's still so much to see, so many stories to find. That's what seduces me into thinking that there's time to go just a little bit farther before I turn back to be with the people I love most on this whole crazy lovely messed-up planet.


Amanda said...

I thought it got easier but it obviously doesn't. The hope of discovering things together even when they are older fills me with joy and anticipation. Your outpourings always give me food for thought, today I feel sad and elated....thank you Janet. And cheerup, who want cookies and beer anyway?

janet brown said...

Well, not at the same time...thank you, Amanda,

Tokyo Ern said...

Your post makes me want to hang out with my Mom and Dad, Dad was 80 when he came out to Tokyo last year. We had a fun time showing him and my Mom around my wife's neighborhood and also took them to a hot spring resort in Hokkaido.

janet brown said...

I wish I could meet your parents someday, Ernie. Feel as though I know them from your blog posts and photos.