The Most Difficult Job

DSCN1871In my 58 years, I have had six kids. Raising them, loving them, being their mom was the greatest joy of my life. Sadly, I lost a son at age 15 from a sudden heart event during a baseball game. But this is not about him, it is about all children.

I look at my grandchildren now, and see their innocence, their joy at pleasing me, their “Beebee”. I walk in parks with them and their moms, along with my youngest son. It brings back such wonderful memories. We laugh, I take pictures of them climbing fallen trees, seeing fish or turtles or a red-headed ducks out on the lake. A bug skitters by and elicits a squeal from one of them. A snail, slowly making his way across the boardwalk delighting a grandson.

Besides the horror of loosing a child, one of the most difficult things a parent has to do is teach them to be adults, to allow them to grow up. When your child can fix his own lunch or lay our her own clothes(and they match!) is one of our first lessons in letting go. Of course, even before that, going to the potty alone or cleaning up a mess is a step in that direction. Believe me, it gets more difficult.

When your life has been centered on being the best mom that you could be, it is a tearful adventure to hear your youngest child talking about his plans for his future. For 38 years, I have had our own form of home-school on Saturdays, in summer, or even on school vacations. We have walked the paths of Gettysburg and splashed in the waves of beaches from Santa Barbara to cape Hatteras. It gos by so fast.We have been on educational trips, anywhere from the mountains at our doorstep to the Grand Canyon or Washington D.C..

Suddenly, the oldest will not come along and a new one will ride in a stroller. Perhaps some of the older “kids’ will meet you at your vacation spot with a car full of their friends. For a while, it is simply a milestone, and then your little group becomes smaller and smaller. They choose what they want to do on the trip, even where they want to go. You realize that the best days, the most precious days are rushing by, and a tear often trails a mothers cheek.

I have been through a lot, I will not try to put these ordeals, good or bad in numerical order. I will simply say this to those of you who still cuddle sleeping babies, go to “Kindergarten Parents Night”.

gently stroke feverish heads with a cool damp cloth-to breathe in every second, every sleepless night, every leap of joy when the school bus comes home, because, soon, they will be gone.

I picked up my teen at school today with a stomach virus, all ready to comfort him, bring him cool drinks, obsessively check on him, all those “mom” things that we learn to do, and realize that the ride home was all he really needed. He will get his license soon and independence is on the horizon.

Oh, he appreciated the kind words, the stokes of my hand through his hair, the cold drinks or peeps into his room, but I could tell that his smile of appreciation was more for my benefit than for his.

One feeling that I know I will keep with me forever is the joy of being needed, loved, appreciated by a child. There is nothing like it. I will still talk my teen into taking the grandchildren that I keep after school to the store and let him hold their hands and escort them to the toy section while I shop. I will ask him to go with us to the park and go to the grocery store with me. But I know, that it is my son, now, who is going for my pleasure, rather than me going for his. It is his joy at seeing me smile that that makes the day so fine. It is his reaching for the keys as we get in the car that makes me smile back.

I look at him with pure pleasure, 6 foot 3 inches tall, (taller than his father),shaving on occasion, his low-pitched voice asking me which store to go to, and know that I was one hell of a mom, and am now one hell of a grand-mom, and if I succeed in the hardest part of all-letting him grow up and be the man that I have worked so hard for him to be, that I will have done the hardest, most wonderful, rewarding, frustrating job in the world-be a parent, and one day walk with him as he skips through the park with his child.

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12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    SomerEmpress said,

    I am soaking it all up, “Beebee”, telling myself that the years are fleeting. Before you know it, I’ll be needed differently than I am now, so in the meantime, cherish I will! Thanks for the reminder.

    SomerEmpress

  2. 4

    Bumba said,

    A beautiful post. Yes we must treasure our children. Each moment really. That is why we love our children so much, and they us. Well, that’s what makes the world go round.

  3. 6

    Lucid Gypsy said,

    Enjoy every moment!

  4. 8

    Sandra Bennett said,

    I felt every word…Pictures floated through my mind of these events, especially since we’ve been pen pals for quite some years now. Keep up the good work, both in life, and in writing about it ! Love you, beebee!

  5. 10

    Lindy Lee said,

    Six kids! Here’s to you, 2 Silver Stars & 6 Purple Hearts. Don’t know how women like you & my mother-in-law did it…

    • 11

      beebeesworld said,

      What a neat comment. I think I ggot a meedal of honor for surviving loosing my handsome, healthy 15 year old on a bal field-and the Cushings disease, caused by the traumatic stress of watching him die, and the ambulance evidently going go the wrong park. When I had pituitary surgery, after heart failure and a year and a half of basically being told it was “just stress”., I was told I had about three weeks to live. beebee

    • 12

      beebeesworld said,

      My uncle has a drawer full of medals-I’m honored to be compared to him. beebee


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