Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's so over.

A month into Pablo’s freshman college life, I’m finally realizing it.
It is so over.
Mothering, as I knew it, is over.
I had my chance. 18 years of: go to bed, cut your hair, make your bed, take a shower, why don’t you…etc. 18 years of cajoling about piano, or sports, or friends, or homework.

Pablo doesn’t write, he doesn’t call. He’s so thrilled with his new found freedom to become an adult, his freedom to understand who he is in the world, without me telling him: go to bed, cut your hair, don’t play your music so loud.

When he comes home, he will be this adult “friend” –someone who I love endlessly, with a strange connection to me. I was once his Mother; I was once the person who had to teach him, tell him, and shower him with love. Now, I am his Mother – someone who will always take him in, who will always go visit him somewhere, who will always be his biggest champion.

But I can never tell him again what to do. I can make suggestions. But only when I am asked.

He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write. Doesn’t he love me? Doesn’t he miss me? But then, I remember, as a college freshman I wasn’t homesick. I didn’t miss my Mother particularly. I loved knowing she was “there” – but that was about it. I knew I was loved and supported. That's what you know for the rest of your life, that you are loved and supported by your Mother.

One of the rewards of launching your “child” in the world, is seeing what lessons you taught them, that they are now putting into practice as they discover who they are on their own.

What I see in Pablo is this: His joy with the world is my joy. I planted it. His hunger for reading is my hunger for reading. His desire for new experiences – horseback riding, piano, aikido, medieval sword fighting, party planning – is my desire for new experiences. He is generous and kind. He is compassionate and thoughtful. All the things I hoped and wanted he would be. He is all of this and more.

I spent my precious 18 years teaching my Pablo everything I know about life. Now it is my turn to watch and let him teach me who he is and how he will live his life.

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