Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Always a Mother

I rode my bike to work this morning. Avoiding a few icy spots, I made my way down the hill towards town. As I stood by the pedestrian crossing holding my bike, ready to cross on foot, a car swooshed by right in front of my nose. I looked at the driver. It was an old man, very concentrated, looking straight ahead with no thoughts of keeping the Norwegian traffic law of stopping by the pedestrian area.

My first thought was that he probably needs the doctor to tell him it's time to give up driving, then I thought about a situation in my life a few years ago.

Linnea was ready to leave home, she was grown-up, responsible, had saved up her money, finished high school, and ready to go to China to teach English to Chinese children.

For two days I cried. Arnfinn came  home from work, took a look at my sad, teary-eyed face and asked, "Has it been a difficult day?"
I gave him every reason to believe he had observed my situation correctly. "Yes," I wined. "I am not a mother anymore."

It felt like that. My baby was out of the house and with her all the friends who came by to visit, watch movies, and eat dinner with us. It was very empty without her.

It took a while, learning to exist without children at home. After all, I had had them there for umpteen years, I hardly remembered a life without them. Then a wonderful thing happened. I actually started enjoying this new time in my life. And the best thing - I have discovered I am definitely a mother still - and a grandmother - and a mother-in-law.

It can be a challenge to get used to new and different stages in life. The old man will probably be very upset when one day he is told that he cannot drive anymore. A man who has provided for a family all his life, often feels useless when he retires, feeling inadequate and worthless. I felt worthless for a while, too. I thought my children did not need me anymore. But positive, uplifting words like gratitude, enjoyment, and love have made me see that it's possible to enjoy life even though it takes a turn around a new corner.

I still cook way too much food for dinner. Arnfinn often has to eat the same meal for three days - and never complains about it. Some things are hard to change. I still worry about where my children are when any of them come home to spend the night. As soon as they enter the Duck and Cherry, I put on the mother role and want them safely home before I go to bed at night.

They are aways my children. I am always a mother.

1 comment:

  1. Er så enig , så enig - vi er alltid mødre. Vakkert skrevet.