Now, once, twice, three times a year if I’m lucky I get to wash my oldest son’s uniforms, fold his clothes, make his favorite meals and host a party with all his buddies in between his deployments in the Navy. Maybe six times a year I get to make my middle son’s favorite meals, chat on the phone but more on Facebook, offer advice with direction and goals, classes and jobs. With the last one who is still at home, but hardly ever home, who is deep in the throngs of being 18, we are mostly struggling through the emancipation process, curfews, grades, SATs, and college prep. The occasional twenty bucks here, $100 there. Not exactly priceless moments. I am now the mother to young men, no longer boys.
I send my opening “OM”s in my yoga classes often to my sons. I often will dedicate a practice to one, or all of my children. I have found myself in tears during a class, releasing or grieving the loss of one of those boys into manhood. They have given me my strength, like my yoga, they have guided me, like my yoga, they have pushed back, like my yoga, they have in many ways raised me, like my yoga. Yoga has aided me through my evolution of unraveling of my three boys to men. My yoga is motherhood, motherhood is my yoga. So the saying goes, there is a special place in heaven for the mother of three boys, I believe there too is a special place in heaven, here on earth, for the mother of three men. Watching them walk away to their next deployment at the airport, towards their jobs here in town, towards their university classes, towards their girlfriends open arms, towards their ever growing independent lives, is the most pride filled and pain filled sight for me as their mother. The in between, the independence, the interdependence, the yoking, the union, the yoga of being their mother.
I am so grateful to have my girl, my beautiful daughter of eight years. The hair-dos, nail painting, tea parties, dolls, and pink dresses. The sweetness, the cuddles, the discussions, art projects and the nature walks with her I cherish. I am excited to be a bit older and hopefully a wiser, more patient, more present, yogic-like mother for her. The mother who soon will lead other mothers with their flabby new mommy tummies and engorged breasts to breathe, move, stretch and embody their motherhood through an hour and a half hopefully with no intercom calls from the nursery.
Why be a mother? Possibly the answer is simply because I am.