Sunday, November 8, 2009

What Makes Me Tick...

This is an essay I had published last year and while you need to add a year to the listed ages of the kids, I thought this would be the best way to introduce you to my clan.

I’ve discovered that motherhood is a career of many titles. Having spaced my children the way I did, I’m now covering the entire spectrum of possibilities where mother/child relationships are concerned.
My firstborn, Drew , is 24 years old. Next comes Brie , 21. Perri is 10 and Tucker just turned 6. While no two kids are really alike, there are a few similarities. Drew and Tucker share some of the same mannerisms and the inability to tell a fib without a half-grin that gives it away. Perri is much like Brie was at her age in that she’ll do just about anything to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. But there aren’t many similarities in the relationships that we share at these various stages of their lives.
To Drew I am Mom, Sounding Board and (Sometimes) Advisor. My fiercely independent firstborn, he has been on his own since before his high school graduation. He felt he was ready to take on the world at the ripe old age of 18 and there was no changing his mind. I wanted so badly to make him see that he still needed me, but I guess the truth of the matter was that I was the one who simply didn’t want to let go so soon. We now speak daily on the phone, see each other fairly often, and even though he’s 6’2”, I still consider him my little boy.
To my 6 year old son, who is the ‘caboose’ according to birth order but already wise enough to know that he is actually the ‘conductor’, I am Supermom, aka The Woman Who Can Do Anything! We always start out being the bestest mommy ever and it is definitely every mom’s favorite stage of motherhood. I enjoy this little guy so much and I’m not the only one. We all spoil him rotten because we realize he is it; there will be no more siblings born into this family. He is so much fun, with his precocious wit and his ability to say the most thoughtful things. He makes us laugh, he makes us think and he makes us thankful. He’s a pretty special guy and, at the moment, life with Tucker is so very simple.
To Perri I am, for now, the Usually Somewhat Cool Mom. Perri is bright and beautiful and enduring the toughest three years of her life to date. She has entered the middle school years. Changing classes, meeting new people and making new friends; the stuff of which a preteen’s dreams are made! But I remember all too well when Brie was in middle school. The drama of he said/she said and the venomous tongues of girls that age. That whole sticks and stones thing doesn’t really ring true until sometime after high school. Add a few raging hormones to the mix and high drama is at hand. So right now I am bracing myself for the inevitable change that is about to transform my relationship with Perri to something akin to the one I had with Brie during those middle school years. That is not something to which I am looking forward, but hopefully I learned a few things with Brie that I can use to my benefit this time around.
And speaking of Brie, she and I have now come full circle. I was her best friend prior to those middle school years and now, after much trial and error while becoming her own person, she is mine. We muddled through the tough years, both of us learning as we went, and I couldn’t ask for a happier ending. Last November she married Josh , a wonderful young man who loves her and makes her happy. I think that being married has given her a new perspective, allowing us to build a friendship that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And to top it all, she has now added an exciting new title to my repertoire. On October 10th we welcomed Hayden into our family and I became Grammy. Now I am watching my baby begin her journey through the many phases of motherhood, as I am enjoying finding my own way in the land of grandparenting.

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