Not Always the One


Earlier today, I sent the boys off to their last day of all-day karate camp. It’s been an exhausting week…especially for them. With Daddy out of town and Mommy hopping around one-footed trying to make it all happen, we’re all a little worn out–both physically and emotionally. We’re all craving a return to normalcy.

The boys have been SO amazing. They have really learned to soldier up, to help out and–aside from the occasional epic meltdown–they’ve done it. They’ve both become masters of making their beds, watering the garden, feeding the animals, and helping with meal prep and cleanup. Chores are a regular part of their day and that’s a VERY good thing.

Still, it breaks my heart a little to know that so young they have had to assimilate the truth that their Mama will not always be the one they can count on. Every day, in big ways and small, they will need to become more self-reliant. Sometimes–even their strong, do-everything-and-make-it-look-easy mama just CAN’T. This is a fact I had hoped to keep hidden at least a little while longer.

This morning, B had and especially hard time. A few times this week, he has commented on how tired he is. During breakfast, he fell apart. When the storm clouds cleared and we were talking about what’s going on with him, he said, “I’m just so tired. I just don’t like having so many things to do.” While proud that he’s able to so clearly articulate at the age of 4, I couldn’t help but well up a little, hurt for all the truths he’s had to experience this summer. There have been times when both boys were so exhausted and just didn’t want to suit up and head to the next activity. Alas, a ride had been arranged, the activity had been paid for so I would dry their eyes, comfort them the best I could, and send them off to their next assignment.

Oscar decorating my cast with two of the many lovely people who came to help out and uplift this summer.

I’m so thrilled to have the kind of community that is so eager and willing to surround us as they have. I am also sad that I have not always been the one. As their mom, I want to be the one to see them try and learn. I want to be the one to greet them with a smile and a kiss at the end of the day. I even want to be the one to correct them when they step out of line. Mostly…when they’re sad or tired or hurt, I want to be the one to comfort them, to hold them, to soothe them as only a mama can. 

This summer, I have had so many wonderful moments, so many opportunities to reconnect with lovely people as they come and go…so unselfishly giving of their time and talents to help us out. Words fail to express the genuine love I feel toward everyone who has done their part to get us through. Words also fail to experss the sadness I feel for the missed moments I will never get back.

What I’m looking forward to most when this is all over is being the ONE again. I can’t wait to savor simple pleasures like conversing the car, deciding spontaneously to stop for ice cream, raising my eyebrows in that special way that only a mother can to stop bad behavior before it even gets a chance to get going. Mostly, I can’t wait to see firsthand–as only a mother’s eyes can–the many ways in which my boys are miraculous, remarkable, worthy of my undivided presence and attention. Even though my boys have seen this summer how very much I can’t, I hope that they also see that if there’s any possible way I can, I WILL. I hope that when all is said and done, they also can’t help but want me to return to being THE ONE.

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