Motherhood, birds and us


Now, I am not going to get TOO philosophical here, but the fact that Mrs Mourning Dove chose my front porch for her home this particular year is interesting to me.  I was sitting and watching her in her nest and thinking about how the babies will hatch and then require constant care for about 2 weeks then they begin to start flying away from the nest.  They come back at first but finally when they can take care of themselves they just fly away and build their own nests and the process starts anew.  Right now in my life, I have a very ill mother as well as a daughter who is getting married (and thus building her own nest) and my youngest about to leave for college.  I was thinking that we (people) are not that much different from this bird I am watching the difference is that their lives are shorter than ours and thus it all happens faster. 

My own mother has always been an excellent mother.  When I was little, she and I worked in her garden together and she taught me all the names of the flowers, trees, plants and birds in our yard.  She taught me to cook and sew.  She sang to me all the time, There was always music in our house.  My dad was a drummer and he also sang all the time.  She took care of me, preserved my life many times in my teens, was there in the room when I gave birth to my 3 babies and always there with encouragement along the way of their growing up.  I don’t feel ready to not have her but I know in my heart that she is now coming to the end of her life.  A few years ago we had a conversation that I didn’t like but I understood it.  She told me then that she had done everything she had wanted to do in her life.  She said she felt very fortunate to have seen her children and her children’s children grow up.  She was grateful she travelled so extensively all over the world.  She told me that when she was gone I was not to cry over her but to be happy for her because she had “had it all”.  She retired at 65 and moved from NH to Florida into her dream house that she and her husband designed and built with a gorgeous pool that she swam in every day.  There were friends, parties, trips the works.  Then she became seriously ill last November.  She really never recovered from the loss of my sister 3 years ago but now everything has changed.  The house has been sold, she is living in a nursing home and he is moving to assisted living we all hope she will join him there if she gets well enough but she is 84 so I know it may not be possible.  I have to be rational about this but my heart sometimes disagrees and wants to scream ‘I need my mom!”  This is the problem with being a last baby, she had me at 37.  So I am on the young side of being parentless (my father died when I was 22).

Then on the other hand, my second daughter is getting married tomorrow.  She is all ready to fly away from the nest for the last time and build her own and write her own life story.  I am so happy for her but it’s also bittersweet for me.  Those years of her growing up have flown by, for me at least, and I loved every minute of being a mother.  It was all I ever wished or dreamed of being.  My son is going to leave for college in August and he is my last child.  Of course I know that this is the natural course of events, just like mama bird, my babies are flying out of the nest to build their own lives and that is all any mother can hope for, however, I will be an obsolete mom.  Oh I know I am always their mom and all that but what I mean is the daily child-rearing chores are over for me and it’s time to dream a new dream, one for myself.  I have no idea how to figure out how to live only for myself and not have my children right there all the time needing me but I will learn.  I swear I will.  Just wanted to share.  As always thanks for reading…….. See you after the wedding!

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