“We knew exactly what our mother was doing, because we did it ourselves. The children would be gone for months, doing who knows what, and we wouldn’t worry a bit. The minute they were within proximity we started fretting. Motherhood is forever.”
From We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters by Cokie Roberts
I smiled and chuckled to myself this morning when I read this. I’ve done this myself.
My sons are 19 and 21 years old while I’m writing this. One has traveled Europe alone; the other has been at university out of state. While they were gone, I got a text or a phone call usually once a day. They had stories to tell, things they had seen, people they had met, pictures to share. But I rarely worried while they were gone.
While they travelled there was a different story. I don’t sleep much when I know they are on the road, always on alert for any messages about their progress. But once they arrive, they drop off my radar. I’m sure they are fine. Once they get back and tell me all the stories…hmm…maybe I should have worried.
Honestly though, what can we do if they are thousands of miles away? It’s like our brains know that. The protective mom radar shuts into low mode, saving energy for other projects.
And then they return and the game changes. Suddenly, the machinery kicks in, the senses all hit hyper-alert, and I’m telling them to text me when they leave and when they arrive, let me know where they will be staying if they aren’t at the apartment, and checking to make sure they have enough food, offering groceries from the house before they leave, just in case.
What is that all about? Will it ever end? I doubt it. I’ll be harassing their partners and their children for years to come!
To read more, go back to my original post on this book, “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters: New Read.”