Honestly, going through this phase of motherhood — there’s no delicate way to put it — is painful. They are adamant about paving their own way through the world, and no amount of blueberry pancakes or snicker doodles is going to draw them back.
When the meals go uneaten, day after day, in favor of Taco Bell, and bags of Jerky, I turn my head so I can avoid the pain, and choose not to pick this battle — not worth it when there are many other important ones.
But, it’s a longer journey than I thought it would be, and I don’t think I brought along enough supplies. We moms commiserate about it together, which helps to know you’re not alone. But honestly, I’m not telling them the truth. About how I feel ripped apart. Maybe they’re holding back too.
But what I really want are answers. From someone who’s been here before. I know it doesn’t help that they are all lined up as teenagers now, and one is just following the other in a long, endless track, but I really want answers. Is this temporary? Have I done something horribly wrong? Is this normal? What steps do I need to be taking right now — other than keeping my prayer journal active and full?
I need a mom who’s been there and made it through the other side. Because I’m sure it must get better…but, honestly, I’m not really sure…
Tonight, sitting on the deck, someone said, I remember when you used to get your kids all cleaned up and ready for bed, and in clean pajamas, and they would walk out of the house and right out into the water.
For a moment, it hardly seemed believable. Today, the thought of any one of them marching boldly into the water seems about as likely as an elephant stopping by for tea.
But that’s exactly what they would do… and I even had an exasperated mantra for it — don’t get wet. It was one of my constant battles that kept me on my toes, constantly looking for stray bits of wet clothing that was stashed somewhere and not hanging up.
I ran to the store, at dusk, to pick up milk and eggs for the morning. As I walked back to the house in the dark, I could see the flickering of camp fires, and hear the high melodic sounds of voices from children that are tired, wishful and dreamy. It sounded too familiar — but then, I realized, the sounds weren’t even coming from my house — but from somewhere else. And suddenly, I felt a loss that ran deep, for something that was stolen right out from under me.