Kids. They come, they go, they break your heart, and then they return, full of hugs and smiles.
It’s their job. It’s what they do.
Never is this more evident than when they’re in college and beyond.
Had I realized when I was their age that I was inflicting so much heartache on my mother every time I flew out of the house, heading back to campus, or England where I studied for a summer, or my first apartment, I would’ve…well, OK, maybe I wouldn’t have done anything differently. But I’d be sure to tell her that I’d miss her too and hug her longer than my usual nanosecond.
Still, it’s not like my mom was sitting home all day, just waiting for us to return. She had a job to fill her days, my dad and their friends to hang with, and a growing brood of grandkids.
When my boys were little, both my husband and I worked full-time. It seemed as if my life was reduced to herding cats 24/7 every single day of the week.
“It’ll get easier when they’re older,” I foolishly told myself, the theory being that when they’re able to take care of themselves, they wouldn’t need me to take care of them anymore.
And, for the most part, that’s proven to be true.
These days, instead of juggling play dates we juggle airport pickups, campus move-ins and holiday breaks.
The way I dote on them when they are here, you’d think I was making up for all of the times I couldn’t wait for them to grow up already.
When my older boys aren’t here, good thing I have a full-time job to keep me busy, books to write, my husband and friends to hang with, and my youngest still stuck at home to spoil rotten.
Still, I always find myself looking forward to the day the rest return to the nest and dread when they have to leave again.
I just can’t help it.
I’m a mom. It’s what I do.