Mommy, just for a minute.

My Mommy achievements. I done good.

When I started this blog in September of 2010, it was strictly for therapeutic purposes.  I had been going to a very thoughtful and incredibly practical therapist, hoping for some help in coming to terms with my newly empty nest. It was she who suggested that I write a journal of my feelings, thoughts, reactions and decisions.  It was she who suggested that I start a blog to record all of those things.

When I started my therapy with her, I had raised three children and was facing the end of my “mommy” years. Before having those precious children,  I had gone through years of infertility treatments.  There had been a time in my life when I had truly feared that I would never be a mother.  Nothing that I have experienced before or since that time has been as painful or as terrifying. For years, all I wanted was the chance to be somebody’s Mom, to love and hold and nurture some babies, to raise those babies and watch them grow.  For years, my dreams all centered on giving birth.

Once my dreams came true, I threw myself, body and soul, into being a Mommy.  We had our struggles, of course (Asthma attacks, anyone? Hockey coach from hell, broken elbow, teen angst, crazy neighbors, track meets, football games, broken hands, broken feet, more asthma attacks……), but through it all, I felt that I had found my place.  I was a really, really good Mom.  I was fun, I was loving, I was a wicked good cook and a great manager of medical needs.  Paul was a coach, a hiking partner, a constant supporter.  The five of us were a team, and it was really, really fun.

Then they were gone.

It felt so sudden, and I was so supremely unprepared.  I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming, but it caught me completely off guard.  They were here, then they were gone.  I was the Mommy, then I was alone with two sad dogs and a very empty house.

I was adrift, bereft, lost. My heart was broken, although I tried to hide it from the kids.  I couldn’t even walk past their pictures without feeling tears well up.  I missed them, and I missed our family, with every single molecule of my soul.  I was a mess.

Now it is more than a year and a half since the sad week when both of my boys moved out and the rooms began to echo.  I am doing so much better, I really, truly am.  Honest!  Paul and I are enjoying time with each other. I am enjoying my job more, now that I can focus on my students more fully.  I like the clean and organized living room and the sink without any dirty dishes.  It’s getting better every day, and I am moving forward at last.  Hoorah!


I’m on school vacation this week.  So I’m going to see Tim, my baby boy, at his college.  Tomorrow I will drive the 2 1/2 hours to his campus, and we’ll spend the day together. We’ll eat out (probably twice) and will go shopping for supplies like socks and deodorant and beer.  We’ll walk around town, maybe look in some art galleries, maybe check out a book store or two.  We’ll catch up on family news, talk about politics, tell each other stories.  I’ll give him the home made raviolis and the jar of marinara that I made today.  He’ll laugh over the chocolate chip cookies and the Easter bunny.  We’ll hug, and I’ll hold his hand as we stroll.

I’ll fill my heart with the feel of him in my arms.  I’ll breathe deep to hold in the smell of his curly hair, and I’ll memorize every speck of color in his beautiful green eyes.  I’ll warn him about many dangers, imagined and real, and he’ll pretend to listen.

I’ll be his Mommy, just for a minute.  And I will love it.

22 thoughts on “Mommy, just for a minute.

  1. Yeah, thanks for that! Where’s the freaking three ply Kleenex Wally! Love you and have a great day tomorrow…off to call the 919 area code!


  2. I appreciate you following me and I love your posts. Our eldest is leaving in the fall for college and this post offered me some comfort as I ponder what I am going to do and how I am going to feel when he has left the nest.


    • And I love your posts; I have shared them with several friends and family members for your thoughtful words about fatherhood (the world’s least appreciated job, I think). I hope that the next few months are peaceful and loving for you and your son as you figure out to let go and hold on at the same time.
      Thanks for commenting, and for reading.
      And thanks for following me, too!


  3. I read this in the grocery store parking lot while my husband went in to grab a few things for dinner. Our life is so different now, and we love it. But as always, you brought tears to my eyes. What I love about this post is that you seem to be realizing what I’m realizing (sort of simultaneously), we’re still “mom” – the relationship has changed, but not really. It might be better.
    p.s. Beautiful children. 🙂


    • I know! Believe me, I remember so well what it felt like to think, “I just want an hour to myself….” Its knowing that it wasn’t all fun and games that makes this time in life bittersweet and not just bitter.
      Thanks for reading, and for commenting!


  4. What a beautiful piece you have written here. Here’s to love and cherishing our children.

    “I’ll breathe deep to hold in the smell of his curly hair, and I’ll memorize every speck of color in his beautiful green eyes”.

    How lovely! Have a wonderful day with your boy.


  5. I have never broken down and sobbed at a blog post before so congratulations, I think, for that honor. My son is nine, daughter six, and I already feel it all sneaking away, which I know sounds strange but I think you know what I mean. I look back and see what’s already gone and with my son I see what’s ahead. There’s not much of that cuddly time left. They’re at perfect ages now, but I cling. I really, truly cling.

    I remember when I left for college and my mom was going through this. I think my mom is still going through this (I’m almost 40), which makes all of this even stranger, being a mom and being a daughter.

    I hope you enjoyed your day together. Beautiful post, beautiful family.


    • Oh, dear! Sobbing wasn’t what I was going for….but I totally hear what you are saying. It just speeds by so fast. I was one of those Moms who cried at every milestone…. You are so lucky to be able to appreciate your little ones while they are little, and they are so lucky to have you!
      And I know just what you mean about being in the middle, too, because my Mom is still one of my closest connections.
      Thank you so much for reading, and for taking the time to comment (while sobbing…sorry!)


    • Thanks! They really are such great kids, and they are very happy (thank you, God!) Every time I see them I am reminded of how lucky we are…..but I still get weepy and pathetic when I have to say goodbye!
      Thanks for reading my neurotic musings…..


  6. You. Are. Killing. Me. I swear every one of your posts makes me cry the I-have-an-unlimited-supply-of-snot-running-out-of-me kind of cry! But you sure do put things into perspective for those of us who have crazy babies and toddlers and who sometimes wish away the “dependent” days. I know that, when those days are gone, I’ll want them back more than anything. Thank you for putting me in my place! And you owe me about $20 worth of Kleenex. Thanks.


      • Wow, huge praise! Thank you so much!! I keep trying to teach my fifth grade students to “show us, don’t tell us” in their writing. I guess because mine comes from the heart and from my fairly neurotic mind, it does sometimes hit home. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me, and how helpful it is, to know that you are reading my words!


  7. Thank you so much for posting the photo of your beautiful children and taking us back to the time when you started your blog. We’ve only followed you a few months but it seems like we’ve been friends for much, much longer.


  8. Hope you two had a wonderful day together, as I am sure you did! You done good, Mom. After all, you are Mom to one of my all-time favorite people, and I have good taste!


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