In the last few years of my mother’s life, it was the simple things that my mother and I shared that were my greatest enjoyments with her, and what I continue to miss the most.
Our routine “travels” around the countryside to take in the familiar sights of houses, farms, and fields was a favorite activity of my mother’s and came to be so important to me, as well.
We would pass by the same farm and note how large the corn was or how beautiful the garden was maintained. The comments were basically the same each time we passed that certain familiar landmark.
It was in that familiarity of sight, sound, and remark that comfort, security, and safety come to our relationship. There is something comforting in those repeated conversations and travels shared.
To me, those conversations and those repeated moments shared epitomize what a mother brings to her children.
We can always count on our mothers for that solid rock of safety and security. It never gets old hearing our mothers tell us they love us day after day, and moment after moment, even when we least deserve it. Our mothers are there for both our literal and our emotional falls.
Tenneva Jordan said, “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
Mothers, it seems, just have an innate drive to make sure others are happy first and others’ needs are met first. Sacrifice.
As Emily James Putnam, “The selfishness that a woman has learned to stifle or to dissemble where she alone is concerned, blooms freely and unashamed on behalf of her offspring her children.”
Sometimes, it is difficult for us moms to be objective about our children because of the deep love we have for them. We hurt when they hurt, we cry when they cry, and we can feel their emotions deeply.
Erma Bombeck wrote that each mother has her favorite child. “It is always the same one: the one who needs you at the moment; who needs you for whatever reason to cling to, to shout at, to hurt, to hug, to flatter, to reverse charges to, to unload on but mostly just to be there.”
As a mother, I feel this with my three children. My husband, their father, frequently asks me this question about our three children, “Which one is your favorite?”
He asks this while we are together watching our youngest ride her bike down our driveway for the first time without training wheels.
He asks this when our middle daughter has just shed some tears because she did not get an A on a test and needed reassurance. He asks this when our oldest, our son, is sharing with us the story he has just written.
It feels good to be needed as a mother. Mothers thrive on that feeling, but at some point, we also know that we have done our job when the frequency of that need has dwindled immensely; when our children have flourished to the point of expanding their own horizons as their own independent beings to live their lives.
Children will always need their mothers, and mothers will always need their children. Each time I pass by that same farm and field, I hear that conversation between myself and my mother, and I know that I will always need her, even when she is not here. And although tears may dwell in my eyes, a smile crosses my face each time on this routine “travel.”