A blank page can be the scariest thing out there for a writer, but it can also be the most exciting. As I sat staring at the empty page, I wondered, wondered if I had anything new to say. I felt like I had written all that was in my head. The bakery closing. My kids are growing up. My insecurities. Kindness or the lack thereof. But as I sat on my balcony drinking my morning coffee with my favorite fleece and sweatpants, I looked over the balcony and saw the trees in the parking lot below my apartment. If you aren’t paying attention you might miss it, I thought as I saw those leaves changing as if overnight. It’s not just every fall when the leaves start to change overnight it’s also life. I wasn’t paying attention, and now I have two adult children living their adult lives. I realized I really have NO clue how to be a mother to adult children, let alone an adult married child.
A few days before Raymond’s wedding and on his birthday, I went to visit him at work. I sat at one of the community tables writing and when it was time for his break he came and sat down with me. As he started to talk about all the things he needed to get done in the next few days, I just looked at him, really looked at him. I said to him, I don’t know how to be your mom now that you’re getting married. An older gentleman, who was sitting at the other side of the table, looked at us and chuckled as if to say to me, “we’ve all been there, and you will be fine honey”. At least that is what I imagined him to say because I needed reassurance and the wisdom from someone who has been here at that moment. The real problem is that I don’t know where I fit into their worlds anymore.
There is the realization that you are no longer the first call when something goes wrong. As an example, a week before the wedding we had our last dinner. Just the four of us, the “core four” before we added a lovely and sweet new member to our family and became the “fab five.” When Rob and I got to the restaurant, the kids were already there. I gave Ali a hug and then went to give Raymond the same hug but when I got to him, I looked down at his arm. There was a huge scab, and I said to him “What happened?” His response was so casual; “Oh I fell off my scooter last week”. Did he call me? No, no he did not. Did he text me? No, no he did not. His theory was that we were having dinner later that week, and he would just tell me then.
I don’t know how to be a mom of adult children. It’s not like you can just do what you’ve been doing for the last 24 years. I’ve done my mothering well, and my children are functioning adults that don’t need me on a daily basis like they did even five years ago. Once again, I am in a new phase of life, and it is a hard phase that I am not happy. An Aunt (I have some smart Aunts) said, “The Beatles said it – Love is all you need” and instantly I knew it was all going to be all right. I have plenty of love for my children, and that will never change, and I suddenly felt calm.