I am sitting here, overwhelmed with the weight and amazing-ness of Motherhood right now.
So many sweet messages from my co-mothers.
My husband just stocked the fridge with fresh food, the kids cleaned their rooms and the house while our wonderful “babysitter” (should be kid-sitter, at this point, I think…) was with them. She stayed with them while Tim and I were in TX for Listen To Your Mother.
We got back home a few hours ago, after having breakfast with my parents, who came from Austin for the show. It’s a rare treat to actually see my mother ON Mother’s Day.
Upon our return home, the kids showered me with homemade gifts and hugs and love.
What mother could ask for more?
I will (of course) talk more about the show, but today, I want to post what I read last night. It’s never been published here or anywhere and because it honors my own mother, I want to put it out into the world today. It definitely seems like the best time to do so…
The Sunday Evening Call
Perhaps the biggest change I ever made in my life was in the summer of 1993. I packed and prepared to move away from every familiar thing in my life, drove 3.5 hours away from the house I grew up in, my parents and a bit of my innocence too.
When I arrived at college I knew only a handful of people that I had met at freshman orientation, and by “knew” I mean I spent a couple of days around them that hot weekend in August. I did not know my roommate and she had already moved in once my parents and I arrived to get me settled. I ended up with the bed by the loud-slamming door and hallway and I am quite certain in the first week we lived together she said no more than five words to me.
As my parents left that afternoon, we hugged and a few tears were shed. I watched as the elevator doors closed on them, with me on the other side and I felt my heart wrench inside of me. But I was a big girl now, the one they had raised me to be, and I was excited for this new adventure, despite how sad I was to be separated from them.
My Mom and I agreed that we would talk every Sunday evening, around 6 or 7 and I looked forward to the call each week to catch her and my Dad up (mostly her though) on the week’s happenings.
Only a few weeks into my first semester I was not doing so well. I was overwhelmingly homesick, lonely and a bit disillusioned. I thought college was supposed to be fun (on top of the learning of course) and I was not having very much fun. I had a met a few other girls in my dorm but for the most part I was alone.
On one of our Sunday evening calls I cried to my Mom. I told her that I wanted to come home. That I should have never applied to a school so far away and moved to a completely different town. I continued on about how I could not stand my roommate and that she was letting guys I did not know sleep in her bed, with me there, sneaking them into our room. My Mom lay silent as I spouted all of this off, listening to everything I had to say and only encouraging words came out of her mouth.
She told me to give it a little more time. That maybe I should look into joining some groups on campus and that perhaps I would still meet some more friends in the dorms or in classes. Her words breathed into me the will to not give up.
Although, what I really wanted her to say in that tearful moment was, “Sure, honey, come home, we would love to have you back!” But she did not. She gave me a gentle push, as mothers do, and for that I am forever grateful. And I’m sure after she hung up the phone that evening she silently prayed for me, just as she did every night since I had left home.
In the next few weeks I moved out from my first roommate and moved in with a girl I actually knew from home. Although she was not the best roommate, there was very little chance of her having unfamiliar boys in our room and truthfully, she was rarely there. I carried ALL of my things up one flight of stairs and around the corner, by myself to evade that first situation.
In the second semester, after a nice long holiday break back at home, I pledged a co-ed service fraternity and started to get to know more people. I was also doing good in the local community and that in itself made me feel better. But because I am a true extrovert, I was so happy to be meeting more people and finding true friends.
Now, I think back on how it must have been for my mother to be on the other end of that call. Now, that I am a mother myself. How hard was it for her to hear how much I missed her and my dad and how easy would it have been for her to tell me to quit and come home? How difficult was it for her to hear the sadness in my voice and not be there to physically hug me or wipe away my tears? To only comfort me with her loving words and voice. As a mother myself, I am starting to imagine… Because I have learned that letting go, even in little ways, can be pretty tough sometimes.
One of my brothers told me several years ago that Mom cried for a few days after they came back from dropping me off at college. I am sure she was somewhat lonely and homesick too. I mean, I had been a part of her home for so long. I am the youngest and her only daughter and I left her well-feathered nest empty. I know now that this time was really hard on her too, just in different ways.
However, thanks to her I was able to fly. That’s what mother’s do, they help us learn to fly.
Thanks Mom, your love and words have always meant so much to me. And thank you for giving me the wings and will to fly.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers – those here with us, those hoping to be, those gone before us… ALL of them.