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The wee ones look at me, and they see Mom. They see the woman who cooks for them and with them, always ensuring that they drink their milk. They see the woman who does their laundry and helps them clean their rooms. They see the woman who kisses the boo boos and bakes the birthday cake.
But I’m more than that, and I wonder if they know about this. I wonder if they know how much I love horses and how much I miss riding them. I wonder if they understand why I choose the books to read that I do and why I enjoy certain authors while rejecting others. I wonder if they consider how I’m a slightly different person when I’m with my friends and my focus isn’t on them.
I doubt they do.
When I look at my mom, I see the same thing. I see the woman who is always there with advice and help. I see the woman who made the spaghetti to put into the refrigerator for lunch. I see the woman who drove me all over kingdom come for various activities.
And I know she got a little lost, too. I was thinking about this the other day while reading a book where the author explored her mother’s addressbook after her death and discovered all sorts of mysterious facts about her mom.
To be honest, the author was a little surprised and rocked by some of the relevations she learned about her mom. Her mom was a real person, and that was so hard for her to reconcile with her image of her mom.
And I don’t want that. I don’t want to have the wee ones see a version of me that I paste on for the world. I want them to know who I am and to feel comfortable growing into their own individuals based on the role model I am. And for me, I don’t want to put my life into separate pockets – the mom bucket, the me bucket, and so forth.
When I hear about my mom going to the city with her friends for the day to explore museums and see a play, I’m still surprised. I feel badly that this is something that my mom wasn’t able to do as I grew up – or that she didn’t share with me when I was growing up. That isn’t the relationship I want to have with the wee ones.
And with that in mind, I’m going to heave a huge sigh of relief and take away that guilt. Tomorrow I’m heading to Ravinia to see the B-52s, and I’m going to tell the wee ones what I’m doing and why.
And the next time I have the opportunity to do something fun? Well, so long as it doesn’t conflict with something the wee ones are supposed to do, count me in!