My baby is 18 today and I am okay with that. Thirty odd years ago when I began this motherhood adventure I would not have thought it possible to be happy to see them all grown up, but today, this day of final abdication, has arrived without much fanfare and hoopla or unnecessary angst. Perhaps it is because he is the last and I have been here before, but most likely it is because, with each passing year, I have come to realize that it is not their age that holds them close, but love, and love is unique and special in that it will grow and change to fit the season, it doesn’t stay stuck in the past.
For instance when I look at the picture of my son with his nephew my heart squeezes with remembrance, but I see a man when I think of him today, not a bygone child. To me, all of my children are who they are today not who they were in the past, hence looking at photographs evokes the emotions that were in play at the time, but the people in pictures don’t exist any more.
This is such a wonderful gift from God, this ability to love the one you are with, not the one that was. I could not endure the pain and sorrow motherhood would cause if I had to relinquish my child through each stage of growth, rather than only see them as who they are in the present. So rather than be sorrowful about losing them, I get to rejoice in the possibilities of the future.