Mothers make books about Firsts…..we write down the date of the first tooth , the first steps
But sometimes it seems to me that motherhood should be measured in lasts
One last happened a few days ago
Last Saturday was the first day of R’s big boy bed and the last day of the family bed
A big fuss has been made in the week preceding the transition
And we have been telling him repeatedly how proud we are of him turning into a big boy
It has been hard for R
The first morning when I come to him .. he turns away from me and says
“See you later mama… good bye”
For he is a child with a lot of self respect.
If we don’t want him … he does not want us either
DH and I curled around him.... all of us cramped in his small bed
We explain to him that this was just as hard for us as it was for him ( it is .. I am in tears while writing this)
But necessary .
That we love him more than he could ever imagine but that its our job as parents to make sure he is independent
We explain to him about roots and wings and how as parents we must make sure we give him both
R senses our sincerity ,puts his arms around the both of us and we all three lie close- mom and dad on the puny shoulders of a 5 year old child – all three of us knowing that this is the end of an era
I say the poet Khalil Gibran’s words to myself like a talisman to remind myself that this is right and good and what we must do
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
I take his picture with my phone when he mollified starts to look at the DVD he will watch that morning
And come to a stunning realization
All this while, I have asked myself the Special needs mom question “How will he live without me “?
But there is another question -the reciprocal which all parents must face when their children become independant
The selfish human painful question
“How will I live without you?”
For more SOOC connections with other fabulous bloogers visit Melody at her wonderful website Slurping Life