Today is the nineteenth anniversary of my motherhood. Yay me, except…I have been a mother long enough to finish one human-plus-one-year, and nothing feels finished at all.
I never decided if I should pick him up or let him cry it out.
Scheduled meals and naps or no?
I haven’t learned to relax when the thing at hand is really just a phase.
I still don’t buy dress pants before the night before the event or attend all the parties or calmly oversee homework before their bedtime and mine.
Their comforters lost their comfort some time ago. They always have too many t-shirts and not enough perfectly fitted pants.
It’s time for senior pictures again, and I haven’t.
I don’t know how to teach them to find a job they love.
I never got rich enough to buy them All The Things, which is okay because that’s probably against my parenting philosophy, but the thing is I never got rich at all, and I totally planned to do that by now.
The sheer number of tooth fairy fails.
What I’m saying is, I’m not finished yet. How can he be?
The other day I thought about how I used to spread a blanket in my yard at Highland Avenue and write in my journal while whichever boy was a baby at the time would play, probably rolling the wheels of a car along the edge of the blanket like a highway.
And after I remembered this, I thought: I probably did that once. In that moment, when the memory was far bigger than it deserved, I realized how enough it was—that time I stopped the day like that.
Sometimes we have to realize whatever we had, the way we did it, and how we gave ourselves to it was enough.
And, it’s not the end, anyway. It’s today.