We're enjoying the long weekend here. Arthur loves to ask before bed if Steve will get to stay home the next day, and we both love it when the answer is "yes". I was explaining that Steve does not have to go back to work until Tuesday, when Arthur goes to school. His first day of school, to be exact.
A: Where will you be when Baba is at work and I'm at school?
me: I'll be right here at our house.
A: You be lonely?
And all at once it hit me- motherhood is an exercise in loneliness. From the moment I see my children's sweet faces on that screen, I will start being lonely for them and it will just get worse and worse as the years go on.
It's different with Steve, thankfully. No matter how much I miss him while he's at work or wherever he is- he always comes back to me. In the end, just like the beginning, it will be the two of us, together.
Not so with children. They leave you and leave you a little more each year. And that is as it should be, but it still is daunting to think about all that leaving.
I still haven't been a parent for very long- 16 months now- but I find myself constantly thinking, "I don't know if I'm brave enough to be a mother." I think this when I picture dropping Arthur off at school for the first time, when I see him almost get squished under a falling piece of furniture, when I think about having to deal with loose teeth. To be perfectly honest, a big part of me thought that the bravery was in the getting- the hoops to jump through and flights to catch and navigating a foreign country. But that wasn't it at all. The bravery must lie in the letting go, a little bit each day.
On Friday, we ran errands all morning before meeting Steve for lunch. Arthur wore a sticker that he found in a recent fabric delivery that says "JACKPOT! You got the end of the bolt." He wore it with pride and a lot of people noticed it. I found myself giggling at the irony and wanting to give him a JACKPOT! sticker to wear every day. We really hit it big with that kid.
Here's to all the moms (and dads) who need an extra bit of bravery this week.