Professor Sharon

Professor Sharon header image 2

How old will you be this weekend?

December 12th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Children, Important People, Musings, Uncategorized

A rare moment is about to happen in my house: I’m not going to win the lottery, and as far as I know it won’t be 90 degrees tomorrow, nor will I wake up 25 years old. Or maybe I will. Tomorrow my two children and grandchild come to visit for a short 48 hours. Our son will bring his life partner; and our daughter will bring the grandgirl. I’m more ecstatic than really words can express here.

The last time we were all together was last summer at the Cape in a rental house for a few more days than two. I always say I’ll take something over nothing; and yet I always wish for more.

As any mother I love my children very deeply. Since they have left home in the early to mid-90s, I’ve learned to accept my sadness at their daily absence from my life. And along with that sadness, comes the overwhelming pride at the adults they have become. I think of them often during a day, seeing and hearing something I know they would like to hear, a moment with their father, or a new food I’ve cooked and I think they’d like to try. But the missing is different. When they reappear in person, I must feel deeper. My excitement is palpable, and when they leave my sadness exhausting.

I sometimes wonder if my parents were this sad when I grew up. I don’t know. In their way, they loved me, but when I was kicked out and left at 18, it was really quite permanent. When I moved closer to them at different points, I visited as often as I could and enjoyed their company (and still do – my mother is 82 and on the opposite coast). But they did not ever parent me again. I have enjoyed the deep pleasure of continuing to be my children’s parent. Of course it isn’t the same as parenting that two year or eleven year old; yet they have left space for me in their lives. This, I think, is the joy and the sorrow.

Late tomorrow for two short days I get to be in the presence of some amazing people. I think I will be 25 again: I get to cook, clean up after them, play games, laugh and fill my heart with their presence. On Monday afternoon, I’ll be 54 again soon enough.

Tags: ····

4 Comments so far ↓

  • ProfSharon

    Thanks for commenting. I have to say in many ways I often wish for those days back (but to be honest, mostly the sweet moments, not the vomiting in the night, temper tantrum moments!). I have the immense pleasure of a grandchild, and all they say about that experience is true – you get to have those moments back! I think you’ll love those little ones as adults just as much!

  • Marjorie

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. My children are so little right now, and I always wonder–will I wish for these days back again when they’re older, or will I love being with them when they’re adults just as much…?

  • ProfSharon

    Thank you for your kind words about my words. Whether or not a belief in God is involved, I think we are blessed (and, for me, I think that mistakes are not so bad after all!). I wish you wonderful times with your children!

  • Lydia Klatsky

    Sharon, Mike called me and read this to me today and I asked him to send me the link. You wrote so beautifully what I feel in my heart every time we spend time with our kids and grandkids. The most amazing and incredible thing to me is the unbelievable joy that comes from seeing our children be such wonderful spouses and parents! Whenever I doubt myself, I watch them and know that whatever mistakes I made, I succeeded in raising two loving, sensitive people who enjoy sharing their lives with me! I am infinitely blessed and love the way you put my feelings into such perfect prose.

Leave a Comment