It's no secret that I want to have children of my own someday. It's also no secret that I'm often impatient for that day to come. Knowing this, a well-meaning family friend once told me that I shouldn't have kids until I was ready to give up the next 18 years of my life to them. "It's a full-time job," she said, "and it's not over until they're off on their own."
No offense to my friend, but she was wrong. I don't even have kids yet, and I know she was wrong. Because it's more than 18 years, and it's not over when they're off on their own.
I'll be 25 next month, and I've been "on my own" for years - paying my own bills, handling my own education, making my own decisions. But my mom is still doing the full-time mothering: She worries about me when I start a new relationship, she cries for me when she knows I'm sad, and she beams with pride when I overcome obstacles. When I feel little and lost in the world, I call her and let her voice wrap me up in its strength. And when I'm with her, she holds me close to her heart and there's a part of me - way down deep - that remembers when we were one person. She doesn't get off the hook just because I'm a "grown-up" now - she still has to be my mom.
Because a real mom is a mom forever.
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