Two years ago, when my youngest son, Gavin, was a senior in High School, my oldest son, Taylor, asked me a question. That question became a wish. And that wish is coming true in 18 days.
Taylor asked me what I was going to do after Gavin graduated high school. A simple enough question.
Taylor: “Will you stay in Tomball/Cypress? Will you move closer in to Houston? Mom, why don’t you move to Austin?”
Me: “AUSTIN!?! You want me to move to Austin where you live???”
I have told this story at least 100 times in 2 years and I cry every time. My sweet, independent, ‘don’t tell me what to do’, beautiful, ‘has his own life’, oldest son wants me to live close to him (reaching for a tissue). The other boys, and girlfriends-in-law (as I affectionately refer to the oldest two boys’ live in girlfriends) quickly threw in their enthusiastic support.
So what began as a fleeting wish that ‘someday I will move to Austin’ has become a reality. On October 23rd, this lifetime native Houstonian is making the, perhaps not so big to you, and really big to me, move 139 miles due west.
And there is a story inside of this seemingly simple move. Motherhood comes with physical and emotional pain. This is part of the deal and we know this when we volunteer for motherhood, and if we don’t we learn it quickly. Our babies come into this world with pain, epidural or not. And when they leave the nest, there is the emotional pain of letting go as well. So motherhood is bookended if you will by pain. Pia Melody talks about joy-pain. When something is so sweet and delightful it stirs up the shadow side of joy – something akin to longing.
I certainly was conscious of the pain of motherhood and have spoken to countless other mothers about it. There is a certain honor in the tribe of motherhood. And this is the way it is - this is the true nature side of being human that we don’t get to escape no matter how evolved we are.
So when Taylor suggested I move closer to him, when the boys and their gorgeous girlfriends helped me find a new home, drew out diagrams of where my furniture might go in my new house, agreed to meet the utility folks to turn on the gas, picked up my keys, agreed to help with the garage sale, took off work to help me move – I felt like I won a 10-foot-tall Mommy Trophy.
And what I am certain of is that these boys know how to love, and I know that I taught them that. Certainly I didn’t do it completely on my own, it does indeed take a village, and yet the lion’s share of it was my supreme joy.
Taylor, Rachel, Damon, Jordan, and Gavin – from the bottom of my giant mama heart, thank you for loving me so well.