I sat crying as I ate a roast beef sandwich in a sandwich shop while waiting for my third child to take the ACT so that she could finish registering for college classes. Earlier that day I hugged my second child as she and her new husband packed up their things to move an hour and a half away. How did I get to this point and what happened to my little girls?
I should be able to handle this after all it isn’t my first rodeo. My oldest married 5 years ago. Did I really think the others were never going to grow up? Why didn’t anyone tell me this would hurt my heart so much? Oh I know they will come home and visit but to not have them around every day is a little more than I can bear at the moment.
The friends I talked to through the day weren’t much help as most don’t have children moving on or maybe just don’t understand my emotionalness, after all don’t we WANT our children to grow up and move out so that we can do the things we have dreamed of doing? Where is a mother going through the same thing that can sympathize with me? My husband wasn’t much help either. Fathers are too factual I guess.
All this heartache has got me thinking that maybe as women we don’t really spend enough time over tea and crumpets. We are so busy running, teaching, loving and disciplining that we forget that there is another mother, sister, friend that is frustrated with her 11 year old and his lack of thought for others or maybe just needs someone to talk to about that great milestone her 4 year old just reached. I know I am guilty of being too caught up in my life to stop and take a breath with a friend.
When my babies were still babies a wise grandma told me about the days when the mothers on her block would put their toddlers down for a nap and then take a quiet time on the front porch with a glass of tea. The sight of a woman on her porch was an open invitation to visit and swap stories for just a moment, a break in the day when the stresses of motherhood could be shared and tears and laughter swapped. What have we done with those days? I am sure under all the skinny clothes and baby memories in the back of my closet there is a tea pot with matching cups just waiting to be used again, to once again be the bond between friends and the stress reliever of the day.
In our busy lives we have lost our sense of community. The time long lost when women lifted each other up, swapped recipes and took chicken noodle soup to the mom down the street who had the flu. Grandmas told stories about being young mothers and young mothers called their grandma for advice and support.
When is the last time you invited a friend over for tea, had a lunch date, or just stopped to call a friend for a much needed chat? I know me too!
This is my commitment to mothers everywhere—I may not have been through what you are going through, but I have a mother’s heart. Whatever your pain, it’s my pain also. I will be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to hear you laugh, and cheerleader when you need someone to celebrate with. My teapot will always be full, and my teacups will always be clean and ready to share with you. When I bring you a casserole when you are sick or have had a baby I will stop and listen to your story of happiness, misery or anything in between. I will be your friend, your sister and not just another mother.