by Amy Ruhlin
These later years of motherhood have gifts waiting for us, of that I am sure. I don't know yet what they are, but I stay alert.
My daughter, and my son, are both in their early 20s. They are smitten with the idea of endless possibilities and surprising opportunities. They are embarking on their young, exciting lives, and heeding the call: "Come on in! The water is fine. You'll love it." They wade in, eagerly, waist deep. I strain to watch, standing safely along the shoreline, my feet firmly planted in the sand.
As I watch them dive in, I remind myself that this is now their time. We boomer parents had our own spotlight for many years. But now, we stand a bit in the shadows, and if we have the courage and wisdom, we will at least try to be the elders, the ones who have the sense to get off of center stage and instead, offer a supporting role. Comes a time, boomers.
My son recently took me to his college art studio where we ran into some of his fellow students. He eagerly introduced me: "This is my Mom," he said. I loved the way he said "Mom" -- there was gladness, gratitude and dare I say, pride in his voice. His hip, young friends' eyes lit up. "Your Mom! Wow, has she seen your work yet?" "Not yet!' he replied. When they left, my son and I walked through the studio together, while he gently and humbly pointed out some of his art. I could tell that it meant something to him to show his mom his work. And somehow, for the first time, instead of feeling like an older mother, I felt like a Queen.
It wasn't like when I was a younger mom. I didn't feel needed. I didn't feel like I had to have all of the answers. Or that I was taking care of him. Instead, I felt recognized. I felt appreciated. I felt honored.
So, give it up boomer mamas. Our supporting role is the best one yet.
All hail the Queen on this Mother's Day.