Because, of course, without him, I wouldn’t have a Mother’s Day at all.
This was brought to my attention one year by my
facetious brilliant child who remarked that in fact, HE should be the one who garners all the attention, because without HIM, I’d have nothing to celebrate.
I thought about it and he’s right and the day belongs to my Angel Boy.
I’ve enjoyed thirty-four years of receiving gifts and presents and all the little things that go along with this one day set aside to recognize mothers; handmade cards and macaroni hearts (I’ve kept them all) and coupon books for hugs and dishwashing (still waiting to collect on a few of those.)
Now that our nest is empty and I don’t wake up to a sweet little boy snuggling in bed with me; that embodiment of Mother’s Day with every smile and giggle, there’s only one thing I desire, and this is true of a lot of other empty nest moms I’ve talked to.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
My cell phone rang and the little screen flashed “Angel Boy”, which always makes me verrry happy, because as much as texts and emails facilitate instant communication, there’s really no good substitute for hearing my only child’s voice.
Me: “Was ist los, mein Kinde?”
(That’s pretty much my entire body of knowledge of German, which is Angel Boy’s Ph.D.; Germanic Languages and Literatures)
Him: Hi, Mom.”
Me: “To what do I owe the honor of an actual telephone call?”
Him: “What do you want for Mother’s Day?”
(By unspoken agreement, this query includes my birthday, which is either ON Mother’s Day or within a few days of it.)
Me: “YOU know what I want.”
“It’s that little four-letter word. It’s what I always want. Say it.”
Him: “You want TIME, right?”
Me: “Yup, that’s it. I want YOU. I want time BEING with you. I want to spend TIME with you.”
“Don’t buy me any THING. What I want is priceless.”
And that’s the truth.
Ever since he left SoCal to pursue his lofty academic goals mostly on the East coast, TIME has become a precious commodity.
Now I know why my mom counseled me to spend every second, every minute — with my child, because she knew that once they grow up and fly away, all you’ll be left with is memories.
That’s why I got up at 4 a.m. and did as much housework as possible before he woke up so that every minute could be spent caring for him, playing with him — just BEING with my Angel Boy without having to say, “in a minute” or “not now, I’m busy.”
If I had to give advice to mom nowadays, I’d tell them to spend more precious time being present in their children’s lives, and spend a whole lot less time on their electronic devices.
Because one day, their children will be gone, and you’ll regret the hours you spent on Facebook.
Although I’m not seeing my Angel Boy ON Mother’s Day, he planned a camping/hiking trip for us in a couple of weeks, and that’s when I’ll bask in the glow of TIME.
I can’t wait.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!