His sparkling blue eyes always captivated me. Even when he was a baby, they shined brighter than the noon day sun. I was 23 back then. I hate to admit it but I wasn't the best mom at that point in my life. I was selfish and the joy of mommy hood didn't quite feel like joy to say the least. I called my mom only a few weeks into my new son's life and said "I feel trapped."
That's all I can remember. Feelings of being trapped to an eating, crying, and trying to distract a small child merry-go-round. Every single day with no end in sight. The days felt like an eternity, hours passing like months. And to be quite honest it felt like hell. My own personal hell. I was young and not really prepared to give up all my spare time.
I realized at 6 months that I was not the kind of mom that should stay home full time. I needed an out. And going to work was a logical explanation to anyone that dared question my desire to not be at home with a baby. Yes, let me go to work! All that baby raising was not for me. So off I went and never looked back. I've been a full time, owned-my-own business CEO kind of mom his entire life.
It has been great, as the boss I can make my own hours and still drive my kids (now two of them) to school and back. I can be at their sporting events and chauffeur them to birthday parties. I felt like I had the best of both worlds for many years. I didn't even mind it when my kids would whine "all you ever do is work!" I'd just smile at them and say "only to be a better mom to you" and happily trought out the door.
But somehow a switch has gone off inside me. It came out of no where. As if THE ROCK A.K.A. Dwayne Johnson showed up and sucker punched me in the stomach. I can 't breathe and no air can reach my lungs. Like deep down in my soul, some Grand Canyon sized hole has emerged. Wait, what? What is this? At first I kinda chuckled under my breathe like it was some kind of fluke. But it steadily grew open. It was like the movie Ice Age when the ice splits open. It's just one tiny crack and all of the sudden this hole appears that can swallow the state of Texas. There is a hole in my chest that big because suddenly it has dawned on me...
I lost my son.
As in, I don't know where he has gone.
Yes, he still lives in the same house with me. But the child is no longer a child.
In the last two years, he grew 10 inches. TEN INCHES. I have to strain my neck to see his ocean blue eyes and that is IF and only IF they aren't rolled upward in any given conversation on any given day. His once chirpy voice along with his happy go lucky attitude have been replaced with a deep baritone, almost unrecognizable voice and an attitude of aloofness at any moment he is addressed.
My heart grieves. Because puberty has taken over and the ramifications of his dad and I divorcing are slowly making their way out of his mind and heart. His anger towards me is...well, it's understandable.
I understand his anger. I also was an angry teenager, pissed that my own parent's were divorced, feeling alone and defeated and hating everything about living with my own mother. I get it. I've been there. But I never thought I'd be on the receiving end. And you know what here's the truth. Yes, I wasted precious moments with my kids that I can never get back because I chose to work. I chose to be gone. I decided that I was a better mother to not always be home. And at times, even when I was home I wished I wasn't.
And you know what? I lied to myself. That's my biggest take away. I lied to myself and actually robbed myself of some of life's biggest blessings. My kids.
I took fore granted small moments that will never return again. Memories not captured or stored in my mind but wasted and missed. I 100% took for granted the gift of motherhood. And so as I sit here typing, wiping the tears that run down my face, I know where I can find him again. I can find my son. I might have to wait for puberty to end, but I know exactly what to do. I know how to reach his heart because he is my heart. He and she are the core of my heart, not work, not money, not a big old house and shiny new car, not career recognition. No, all that stuff I was aiming for and wasting time on all lost it's luster. They don't have my heart, these kids do.
I am thankful for the few years I have left with him in my home before he soars off into the world becoming the man he was destined to be. I am thankful for a perspective shift before I missed it all. I am thankful I know where to find him, and even if, for the moment, he hates everything I am, I will be sitting here waiting for him to walk back through the door rolled eyes and all. I'm memorizing those rolled eyes.
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