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As my last birthday passed I began to hear an odd sound. It started off in quiet whispers but is getting louder and louder as time passes on . It is so loud now that I recognize it for what it is….my biological clock warning me the alarm is soon to sound and final call is fast approaching.
While we made the decision years ago to not have more children, I’ve waxed and waned with my feelings of maybe, possibly, reopening that door. I have researched adoption, even special needs adoption. I have researched foster parenting. I have researched genetic science if we did want to open the biological door. With two neurological defect pregnancies in my 20’s I doubt I have it in me emotionally to chance our genetic match up in my late 30’s.
But tonight as my oldest roamed the mall with his friends, I had the chance to just sit. That is all. Just be. This is VERY hard for me. But I did it. I watched children come and go and play and I marveled in how they could make toys out of chairs and each other. How rolling around in the grass outside by the fountains at Park Meadows mall was as exciting to them as a trip to the Lego store.
I marveled at their sense of joy and peace in just being. And while I enjoyed and marveled I realized I did not long. I did not long to scoop one of them and bring them home with me. I did not long to be one of the mothers watching them. I was content that my teen is becoming more independent. Content that my youngest will be a teen in a few short months.
Maybe because my youngest still needs me more than most kids his age do softens that blow. Maybe knowing that while Con got his permit to drive yesterday, Carter probably won’t be waiting at dmv on his 15th birthday. We know as a family it will take more than a few courses at Master Drive for Carter to be ready. He will get there, just not as fast as the other.
And maybe that is why the ticking is growing quieter. It’s quieting down so I can really listen. I can just be and open myself to hearing what I really need and want.
Seeing your child drive, talking about the pros and cons of colleges, planning and working a business with them, these are all things that tell me I have very few mothers days left with the kids still in my home, making me breakfast and watching movies in our pjs.
The truth is I need to stop listening to a faint tick tock and spend more days like today. Thinking about what I am and who I am when you remove the title of mother from the front of my job description. I hope and pray that my job as mother is always here, evolving the way it has over the last 16 years. But I need to know how I will survive when no one needs a ride, or girl advice, or lunch made. I need to know I can be a mom in the next stages instead of finding ways to return to the motherhood I know and feel safe in.
I guess the only answer I have for that damn ticking clock is that I need more time to figure out if this is all the children I was meant to mother, and if it is, I need time to figure out how I gracefully become the mother they need me to be for their ever evolving realities.