Okay, I’m a bit of a dweeb. One of the best times of the day for me is when I see my son walking home from the bus stop. (He gets home from school first.) If you remember, the bus stop is a quarter mile away and I wait on my porch, holding my breath, until I see him coming down the street.
I’m trying to cut the chord a little. He’s finishing up the seventh grade and almost 13. Which I can’t believe. I need to let him do some things by himself even though I desperately want to wait at the bus stop in my car every day to drive him home so he doesn’t have to walk and I don’t have to panic that he didn’t get off the bus or that the windowless van drove by and snagged him. Pause. Deep breath.
I watch from the porch and smile as he heads down to me. I keep telling myself to go inside and work. I’m wasting precious minutes by standing there, but I feel better keeping my mother’s glare on him. I don’t know what I think i’m accomplishing by standing there. Do I really think I could out run a van if one did in fact pull over and grab him? God forbid and knock wood three times.
I also tell myself next school year when my daughter joins him in middle school I won’t stand there and watch. They’ll be together and there’s safety in numbers. Yeah right. I’ll let you know how that works out for me come September.
You know when else I smile? When I go into their rooms in the morning to wake them up. They go from tweens to the innocent little children with chubby cheeks and fists wrapped around cookies who climbed into my lap and covered me in wet kisses and big hugs. Okay, not doing a very good job of cutting the chord, I know. But the chord has frayed. I promise.
I read recently a mother measures her happiness by the smiles on her children’s faces. I think it’s the opposite. I message my happiness by the smiles they put on my face. Some days it feels like there aren’t enough smiles. Kids can drive you crazy, but when I do smile, well, let’s just say I could light the night sky. It’s the little moments like when my son blows a bubble and the gum falls out of his mouth and lands on the grass. He looks at me and laughs so I do too. Or when my daughter sings when she thinks nobody’s listening and her voice is sweet and natural like honeysuckles.
Obviously, I need more work on cutting the chord. And I will. Eventually and with a smile.