Little Miss is almost 21 months old now and she had her Gramma Caro for only four of those months.
I’ve been a mother for 21 months now, and I’ve had my mother for only four of those months.
My husband misses his Daddy when we have unexpected car repairs, he has frustrations and concerns about his time in the Navy, or when he wants to build a project that he knows will run away from him, and in a million other situations and little ways
I ache for my Mom in a million ways as I stumble through the tasks of being a Mom myself.
Last night I lay in bed in Mother-panic mode. Wondering if I am doing things right. Wondering how to approach disciplinary issues. Wondering if I’m too harsh. Wondering if I’m too soft. Wondering if I’m teaching Little Miss how to eat healthily enough. Wondering if I am teaching her how to love people, to be kind.
And all of those thoughts led back to my Mom. Little Miss’s arrival and early life will always be intertwined with my Mom’s sickness and death… because the two things were so superimposed on one another.
But it is in the deeps of the night, when I am lying there playing the lawyer, judge, and jury in my very own Court of Motherhood when I find my longing for my Mom becomes nearly unbearable.
I wish so desperately for her voice in my life. For her reassurance. For her admonishment. For her camaraderie.
I long to hear her say that I’m doing a good job.
I ache to confide in her all my anxieties and fears about what we do, and how Little Miss behaves, and see what she would have to say. Would she be able to relate? What would her advice be? Would she tell me to relax? Would she tell me to do better? Would she tell me I worry too much?
And I would give anything for the chance to hear her remember her journey as a mother as I grew through the stages that Little Miss faces. Did she feel this loneliness? Did the nearly simultaneous dullness and delight of her days with me leave her confused too? How did she deal with her doubts in herself as a mother?
And now I’m pregnant, and faced with the thought that Mom will never know this child, or any others that we may bring into the world…. She will never hold them, or call them by name. I will never see the light of joy that being around them would bring to her eyes. And this thought is so staggeringly hard, and the void so darkly immense, that I can’t even begin to process it, and so I shelve it most of the time.
I have read that women who lose their mother’s before the birth of their children often feel a renewed kinship with them as they realize the mother-child relationship as a mother themselves.
Because I lost my Mom when I was becoming a mother, more than feeling that kinship, I simply feel the pain of losing her just as my journey as a mother was beginning. And the pain that brings as I walk through my own mothering can be immense.
I know how lucky I am to have been able to put my daughter into my mother’s arms…. I know that many women never get that experience. But I ache that she couldn’t have held her longer. I ache over the secrets they will never share, and the memories they will never make.
And I ache for the chance to know her in this way. To shop for baby clothes together. To hear her unasked for opinions and unsolicited advice. To be nurtured in my nurturing. To be comforted in her reassurance. To be given the ability to laugh at myself when I’m taking myself too seriously. I ache for her presence in my life as a Mother, and in my life in general
I guess… I just… ache.