Waves of Mom Emotion by Robin Gorman Newman


It’s not a task I enjoy, but I started receiving warning messages stating my laptop storage is almost at capacity.  So….I’ve begun the painstaking process of email purging.

I never would have thought that hitting the Delete key would inspire a piece….but I find myself at the keyboard feeling a wave of emotion I didn’t see coming.

As I sorted through the thousands in my Mailbox that had clearly outstayed their welcome, I turned up emails from various teachers my son has had over the years, offering comment on his academic classroom performance and in some instances, praising his behavior.

I turned up emails announcing school play rehearsals, plant sales, international culture fairs, etc…..all activities I enjoyed participating in.

I turned up emails from tutors we had hired over the years and potential babysitters.

I turned up email invitations to birthday parties and playdate proposals.

I turned up emails alerting us to check his report cards and progress reports.

I turned up emails from other moms when I was a new mom seeking to connect with peers also doing it later in life.

I turned up drafts of family holidays cards we created every new year and announcements of his Bar Mitzvah in Israel.

It all feels so vivid as if it was yesterday, and part of me wishes that it was.

My son is now 16, and his growing desire for independence feels stronger and stronger each day….matching the burgeoning muscles of his lanky swimmer’s body.

He is training to be a Lifeguard this summer, which will be his first paid position….at the day camp he enjoyed attending as a young camper.  We were in our community pool last weekend for its opening, and he decided he would practice some lifesaving techniques on me. I happily obliged, as I splashed around in the deep end, and he came to my aide eagerly pulling me to safety.

It took me back to his younger years when we would throw around a Nerf ball or frisbee and engage in pool play. As I felt his strong arm around me gliding me in the water, I was holding on for what felt like dear life, savoring the minutes of our pool engagement.  In my racing heart, I had a feeling that it was fleeting because in his teen mind, it’s not overly cool to play with your mom….even though this interaction was to help him reach his goal.

Sixteen is a milestone year on land as well. He is on the cusp of getting behind the wheel of a car.  Driver’s Ed has already been broached, though we have yet to pursue it.  At present, his passing regents exams and the water lifesaving tests are front and center.

I know it’s expected and what we want for our children. To watch them grow into and test their autonomy and function without us when the time comes….or at least with less of us.  But, it’s bittersweet to bear witness to what is a natural course of development.  It doesn’t make it any less emotional when you are close to your child who is no longer a child.

We aren’t at the empty nest phase as yet…and we have yet to actively discuss college choices….but there are days, when he’s at high school, that I find myself in his room noting the clothing disarray, dishes and papers strewn about.  And, while it would feel good to see his things organized…and to know that he can create order…I step back and remind myself that this too is just temporary.  He will one day live on his own, and I will not be privy to inspecting his space on a regular basis and to asking when he’s gonna take a shower or dump his garbage or go to bed.

Just as when we were potty training and a friend said to me…”Don’t worry….he won’t have his Bar Mitzvah in diapers”….I knew she was right, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the day that he would be 13 and capable of abandoning picture books and reading from the Torah.  But, that has come ‘n gone.  And, he persevered!

So, I know whatever lies ahead for him, he will get there in his own time.

If only time wasn’t so fleeting.

As a mom, I’m gonna do my best to stay present in the moment….something I don’t do all too well. To savor pool or other play when/if it’s presented.  To step over the accumulated piles in his room with a semi-blind eye.  To not nag about his grooming habits or lack thereof.  And, most of all, to be there to support and love and take pride in him unconditionally as I always have, as all we have is today.

And, as my husband says with regularity at sentimental moments, ”He will always be your little guy”…even at 5’10” and growing.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Waves of Mom Emotion by Robin Gorman Newman”

  2. Beautiful article and reminds us all to live in the moment. Cherish the moments that have led up to where you are now and that generally if you take care of the now the future turns out beautiful.

    By Fran Capo on Jun 3, 2019

  3. Such a beautiful and precious display of a mother’s unconditional love. And do I ever relate to the inevitable passing of time! Thanks for sharing.

    By Wendy Sue Noah on Jun 3, 2019

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