Knowing that I have a 14 and a 16 year old, the patient's mother asked me, "do your boys still want to be with you?"
|March 2014 Anna Maria Island|
I stopped and thought about that question before answering her. I told her that I don't believe they mind being with me, but that they would rather be with their friends. Because that is the hard truth about motherhood.
Prior to becoming a mother, I had always been a runner. This type A personality that I have been blessed with needs an outlet. And while I was able to juggle the demands of motherhood and a part-time career, I learned after becoming a mom that I needed my outlet--running--even more than ever before. I didn't do races when the boys were little, it just wasn't a priority for me. But I always got in my runs--at least 4-5 time per week. Because my husband left for work before 6 am, for several years those runs were done at 430am. Me, the newspaper delivery men, and the skunks. But I did it. That hour on the road was my me time, the only time of day that I was alone. It was so important and I made sure those runs happened. It actually worked out well, since my boys went to bed at 8--I didn't stay up much later than that!
I never complained about having to get up early to do get my runs in. I actually looked forward to them. What I believed is that being able to run, to have my me time, made me a better and more patient mom. I had more energy to play with my boys. I wanted to be able to keep up with them--I didn't want to be one of those moms who sits on the bench and watches them. I wanted to be in there. And I have been.
But all of a sudden, or so it seems, I look at my boys, and they're big. Taller than me, my oldest has also passed up my husband. Oh, and that yummy baby smell? Replaced by a not so pleasant male odor. Which they was away with Axe shower gel. That smooth baby skin is now sprouting hair. Sigh....
They are hardly ever around. One minute they're home, the next minute, the door slams before I can even say goodbye and be careful, and they're gone. All the free time I longed for when they were little is mine. I read and finish books before they need to go back to the library. Phone conversations with my sister go uninterrupted. I go to the store alone and come home with only the things that were on my list. I can run whenever I want. I can go on a 30 mile bike, and not think twice about it.
But there's a price you pay for that free time. I miss those little boys. When they needed me--sometimes it was overwhelming! Not that my boys don't need me now, but it is usually to drive them somewhere or give them money. Hugs? "Disturbing", my oldest proclaims. Forget kisses! I always tell them I love them when they leave for school, but I don't get a response anymore. Oh, and they know everything! Apparently, I don't.
|Is this wrong?|
Friends who have older children tell me that they come around again, once they leave home for college. Yikes! I don't even want to think about that!
I'm so glad I have a passion, an interest outside of my family. Something for me. Running has always gotten me through so many rough times in my life. And I believe, running will get me through this too. Letting go is so hard, but it is part of life. I'm starting to pull away a little too, I think--running more races, getting more involved in the running community. I could throw myself into my career, but that isn't what drives me. Running is my motivator. Running has always made me better at everything I do.
“But kids don't stay with you if you do it right. It's the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, Pigs In Heaven