This I Believe

Deborah - Saint Paul, Minnesota
Entered on April 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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It is totally amazing to me that I have a son who turns 12 today. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. Of course, this is not a profound revelation…I presume most mothers regardless the age of their children remember the birth as if it were yesterday.

Aidan registered for Jr. High last night. In the hour or so it took to drive there, wait in line, register and drive home we had several heated, unpleasant discussions; we laughed; I was informed I embarrassed him; and I was told I was stupid – “you JUST don’t get it!” he said. Amazingly, I find myself all mushy inside today when I think about him. Why is that?

Perhaps now, after all these years, I am finally connecting with my kids the way so many other mothers connect with their kids at birth. It’s that feeling that is beyond description…that intense connection that no matter what you love your children and would throw yourself in front of a train to save them from being cut in half by those steel wheels. I wonder if I feel this way because I recognize myself in him now. I want to be there for him whenever he needs someone because I had people there for me when I was an angst-ridden pre-teen. I wanted everyone to think I was fabulous. I thought I was fabulous. Who wouldn’t be fabulous with ultra-long, twig legs, dorky-but-wanting-to-be-cool personality, wild mood swings, horrible temper and insistence on being right about everything no matter what?

I wasn’t fabulous though. My mom told me so. She once said “I love you, but I don’t like you right now.” I was between the age of 11 and 13. I don’t remember exactly when but I remember the words and the feeling that I had when she said them. She wasn’t mean. She was honest. Lovingly honest. She let me know in those words she saw something in me that was loveable and perhaps fabulous but it was my responsibility to get it out.

I now believe in motherhood the way most of my friends who are mothers have believed in it since the day their children were conceived – that unconditional love is meant to be given. Perhaps now I can enjoy the journey more. Perhaps I have Aidan to thank. On second thought, maybe I will just keep it to myself. He would just look at me, roll his eyes and tell me I was annoying because I was trying to be nice.