Who, me? Immature?


I was talking today with one of my colleagues.  She is the mommy of two beautiful children, aged five and three.  I was asking her about her three year old daughter, who I haven’t seen for a couple of weeks.

“Oh, she’s great!”, my friend enthused. “She is sleeping all night in her own bed now!”   I knew that this was a big step, as I remembered my friend talking about how tired she was after her little girl woke up several nights in a row wanting to “sleep with Mommy”.

“But she’s so manipulative!”, my friend went on with a smile. “Every night when I tuck her in she tells me ‘I woke up in the night, Mommy, and I was lonely.  I wanted to see you, but you were so far away!”  We laughed at the story of the little drama queen, but I felt a pang of guilt at the same time.

You see, I am trying very very hard not to do to my sons what that little girl is doing to her Momma.   I miss my boys more than I can say.  I haven’t seen my youngest, my “baby” for eight long weeks.  I  feel his absence like a toothache every single day.  I dream of him.  I hear his voice when I am all alone.

So when I send him an email, or a text, I have to be incredibly careful.  It’s OK for me to say, “Can’t wait to see you!  Hope you’re having fun!”  It would be acceptable to say, “I’m so looking forward to having dinner with you!” or “I can’t wait to hear about school.”

What I can’t say is what I am thinking.  I can’t say, “I wake up in the night, but you aren’t home any more.  I am sad and I want to see you, but you are so far away!”  I can’t say, “Come home!” or “I want you and your brother to sleep here and wake up to have waffles with me!”

Little Caroline is acting like a proper three year old girl when she tells her Mommy that she isn’t sure she wants to be big enough to sleep all alone at night.

I would be acting like a neurotic, overbearing crazy woman if I told my youngest child that I am not sure I want to be old enough to be the mother of three adults who live out on their own.

So.

Katie, Matt and Tim!  I can’t wait to see you!  I’m so happy that you’re having fun and enjoying life! I’m looking forward to having dinner with you all this weekend.

And if I wake up and miss you tonight, I plan to settle down on the couch and hug a big dog.

14 thoughts on “Who, me? Immature?

  1. I don’t know what I will do when my children aren’t home anymore. I am a helicopter mom, I know I am, and I try not to be, but it’s hard. Every time I call Jake to say “I’m going to bed and just wanted to say good night”, what I really mean is, “I’ll be lying in bed awake until you get home. What time do you think that will be?” I remember when my children were little, and I would hear their doors open, and their little steps approaching my door, I would think “Now what?” Just as I was getting ready to greet them with, “Go back to your own bed”, I would hear their sweet little voices, “I just wanted to give you one more hug and kiss.” My heart would melt, just as it does now each and every night when I tuck them in and shower them with hugs and kisses. Well, maybe not Jake, but there are still hugs, and I hope there always will be.

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    • This week in particular, I just miss them so much. It funny how my intellectual reaction (they are grown up; this is good; time for myself now; time for Paul) and my emotional reaction (I WANT MY BABIES) are so far apart……

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  2. You know, I’m not so sure I agree! As long as you don’t pull the “you don’t care about me” stuff, I think it’s ok to let them know about how hard it is for you to get used to them being gone. They may get embarrassed but underneath it’ll make them feel loved and wanted. I think it can give them a touchstone too- a reminder of those comfy, secure moments for when they’re experiencing those not-so-secure I’m on my own moments that they don’t like to admit to. Don’t think that they don’t miss those things too!

    And since when is it not ok to say “I’m sad and I miss you” to your kids? You can still also say “Have fun”. From what I can tell, your kids are confident enough that they’re not going to be guilted into coming home because you say you want to make them waffles in the morning!

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  3. Thanks, Cindy, I think you’re right. I worry about using guilt to drag them home, that’s all. Truth is, I don’t think they’d really come out of guilt, but I do keep in my mind. I just don’t want to turn into “that” Italian Mother, you know, like the ones on TV!

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  4. I told a friend this week that I wanted to build a big family compound where my family could all live together. I know this is a dream but it’s hard to let go of something you have nurtured for years. I have always enjoyed them and I hope they enjoy us.
    As they go off to build their lives, I struggle with direction in my life.

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    • I know just what you mean! I am happy for my kids, I am delighted that they are successful and independent.
      But, Holy Moses, I miss them every single day……Finding the new sense of “who am I” is the big issue for me. This really did catch me totally off guard, I must say.
      I know that we are both fine, and that we’ll both manage to move on. Its just that, right now, it hurts.

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