My little boy is growing up.
I get it now.
I totally understand why Nana S cries every time she thinks about how long it has been since she saw her eldest son.
I know why my own mother starts to cry when she is too far away to help.
I can sympathize with my friends mother who gives him everything he wants every time he calls.
Or my aunty who let a drug addict live in her home into his thirties.
Or my partner’s mother who dreamed of being the only woman in his life.
Every overbearing, over-protective, needy parent who wants to be there and give all they can to the children who they grew, nurtured and eventually sent out on their own. I get it.
We are filled with love at the thought of our children. We remember what it felt like to feel them moving before they were even born. The knowledge and apprehension of their lives and what our roles in those lives entail. We think about all of the ways that we might feel but nothing prepares us for the life altering feeling of being an active parent.
I spend all of my time with my child in my mind. I spend most hours in a day directly responsible for my child’s wellbeing. The goal of my parenting is to make a functioning person who is capable of chasing and obtaining happiness. I want him to be independant, strong, secure.
But oh my do I also want him to be small and reliant forever.
It’s that thing- what’s it called? Cognitive dissonance, that’s it. Feeling two conflicting things at the same time.
Be Happy, Be Strong, Be Independent.
But never stop needing me.
Maybe these particular two aren’t even mutually exclusive.
Maybe I’m kidding myself and they totally are.
Tonight was just the first drop of this emotion and I’m getting ready to feel these feelings repeatedly for a really, really looooong time. (I hope).