Day 67 of the Nowhere To Be Project marked Mother’s Day. I spent it with one of my children, my husband, my brother-in-law along with his daughter, and my 87 year old mother-in-law. We enjoyed a lovely lunch and hours of conversation focused on days gone by. My mother-in-law has lived an amazing life filled with love, travel, adventure and loss. We love hearing the stories of her life and learn something new about her each time we visit. As we were leaving, she teared up as she thanked us for her best Mother’s Day yet. Her joy was not the result of a gift. It didn’t come from the meal either. It blossomed from the rare time of togetherness that we shared as a family. As a mother myself, I knew exactly what she was feeling. I always tell my kids that I do not need or want presents from them. I just want to be with them. I love nothing more than to see their perfect faces, hear their stories and hug them with the fierceness that only other mothers seem to find normal. I know that I could never possibly get my fill of them and certainly won’t stop trying. Happy Mother’s Day!
On Day 12 of the Nowhere To Be Project, St. Patrick’s Day 2018, there wasn’t a green beer in sight, thankfully. For the past week, I have had the insane luxury of having both of my kids, together, under my roof. This hasn’t happened in what seems like forever and it was amazing. What they say about all good things is true though and that was the case today as I hugged my son goodbye and sent him on his way. There is a selfish part of me that would like to have my children with me always. This, of course, is completely abnormal and irrational as everyone needs to forge their own path in life.
I became a mother rather unexpectedly at 23 and this completely redirected the path that I had designed for myself. Prior to this, I had been everyone’s babysitter and wasn’t really sure if I would ever have kids of my own. However, when the time came, I fell in love with mothering and passionately altered my plans and wound them around those of my children. This sounds terrible (read: very politically-incorrect and ever so slightly pathetic according to my 22 year old daughter, haha). The truth is that motherhood eliminated the drive I had for personal achievement. The career goals that had pushed me for so long melted away as I gazed into their brand-new eyes. I never really got that back either. People thought I was crazy much like they do today when I tell them I retired at the age of 46! The truth is though that there was never a job title bestowed upon me that meant more than that of “Mommy” to my kids.
While in Hawaii last week, I met a young couple at a luau and we got to talking about our lives. She explained that they had decided not to have children. I recalled the time when I had felt that way. She went on to tell me that she is completely fulfilled with her work and traveling and has no desire to share it with a child. She is as confident in her decision as I was in mine all those years ago. I rather sheepishly inquired if she gets any push-back from friends and relatives about her choice and she stated that some find it odd or fear that she’ll regret it. She assured me that she has absolutely no regrets. Her confidence in her choice seemed just as strong as mine.
My point here is that we are all uniquely in charge of our life choices. No one can tell you what is right for you except for you. No one has the right to judge the choices you make except for you. Your path is yours and yours alone. No regrets.
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