Last week, my son returned home after his time away at university for three years. I can’t quite believe it’s been that long! It’s good to have him back even though we know the time we have together like this is borrowed time.
Whilst I relish the fact that he is back home, I also am mindful that as my sons mature and venture off into the world, whether it be for studies or work, the dynamics of our household have permanently changed. This is quite a poignant fact for me as I know life will never be the same again. I can no longer expect to have everyone under one roof for any significant length of time. The young men who are my sons are now at the cusp of adventure, poised for all the exciting things life has to offer, inshaAllah.
To be honest, our household dynamics changed long before my sons went away to university; life changed when I became head of this family. That was a hugely significant shift. But as the boys left one by one, I became acutely aware that I was entering another irreversible phase of life yet again. I knew that although they might return under my roof, it’s most likely a temporary stop as they would need to find a job wherever it may be. I can’t expect that they will find one close to home. As much as I would love to keep them close, for the sake of protecting them and having their company, I know that would be stultifying for them in every sense. Wrapping my sons in cotton wool would be doing them a great disservice in life as they will be ill-prepared for the world beyond their front door.
So, whilst I lament the passing of days when I could be sure to have my sons around me, I also look with eager anticipation of what their next steps will be. Whatever they embark upon, I hope I am witness to some great achievements in their lives still, inshaAllah.
And here’s the thing… It’s not just about them. My time to reclaim my life for myself is also here. I refuse to watch the world go by whilst I sit and do nothing. Even at this late stage of my life, I have my own goals which I aspire to achieve still. As I always say, I have given the best years of my life to others and I have no hesitation in putting myself first for a change. Whilst the responsibilities of Mother will never disappear, their dependence on me for everyday things has definitely dwindled – as it should. The best analogy I can think of is like the person who plants a seed, nurtures it to grow into a sapling and then mature into a fully-fledged tree. At that point, there may be the occasional pruning to do but the tree is pretty much on its own. That’s my take on motherhood.
I am not exhausted with my role as Mother. However, other aspects of my being have to now come into the forefront. So, whilst I may miss the days when I could gurantee my children and I would reconvene at the dinner table after a day’s commitments to the world outside, I equally look forward to each of us spreading our wings and discovering more about ourselves as much as what the world has to offer. I want each of us to leave through that front door and go explore!
I am as much poised for adventure as my sons are. As I always say…
“There is no present like Time!”