Thursday, 5 May 2016

My son has left home...

Nobody prepared me for this. How could they? So much about being a mother is impossible to understand until it happens.

There’s a pulsating hole in my being that keeps morphing into tears. 

There’s no right way to do it: mothering. 
Despite all the books and discussions and studies and predecessors and worry, we all just make it up as we go along. 
I know that. 
But I still wasn’t prepared for this.

My manchild, the beautiful creature whose existence became connected with mine eighteen years ago and changed everything forever, has left home to go to university. His room is empty. And a previously unknown kind of heartache occupies my soul. It’s unfamiliar and frightening, because it’s so vast. It feels interminable.

My son is a man in the world and I am an absent part of his history. His story. I’m an absence that stretches to the end of his life. 
And mine.

But somehow, alongside this absence dwells a new joy.   
A fresh delight washes through me each time I hear his voice. A never-before-experienced contentment settles into that throbbing emptiness when we are together and I can feel how happy he is in his freedom and independence.

It’s not pride.

It’s not relief.

It’s just warmth. 

A whole new kind of mother love.

My son is a man in the world and I am forever present in his history. His story. My mothering is a presence that stretches to the end of my life.
And his.