So, I've been thinking a lot lately. About my life, about motherhood, about where I want to be in 20 years.
I think part of this was inspired by a conversation Ashley and I had a couple weekends ago.
My friend (and awesome neighbor) Heather and her daughter Marlee popped by and asked Ashley to go do a little shopping with them at Justice. Ashley *adores* Marlee because Marlee is older and also totally super cool. Ashley was SUPER excited. Then somehow Heather and I decided I would go too, because I'm always up for a Justice shopping spree. Especially when the entire store is 40% off, boo-yah!
We agreed to be ready to go in 15 minutes. But then while I was brushing my hair, Ashley came to see me in the bathroom very quiet and shy.
I said, "What's wrong, honey?" And she said, "Mommy, I don't want to tell you because it will make you really, really sad."
I said, "Uh oh," and was thinking she hit one of her brothers or something. But that wasn't it.
"Just tell me, honey. What is it?"
She looked down at the floor and laid it out for me as gently as she could. "Mommy, I wanted to go to Justice with Marlee and Heather by myself."
Ugh. I gotta say, it hurt. A lot. 6 years old and already disinviting me to things!
I understand why. I do, I do. But oh, I'm not ready for this stage. I'm not.
And you know what was worse was how I reacted. I laid on the guilt, big-time. What can I say, being passive-agressive is my super power.
So yeah, it got me thinking. About how I need to get myself in check for the next time something like this happens. I don't want to be a guilt-imparting mother. At least not about stupid stuff like this - I need to save it up for talks about drinking and speeding and how she doesn't visit me enough in the nursing home.
And it also got me thinking about how as important as this mothering business is, it is just as important that I don't lose myself in the process. One day - before I know it, actually - Ashley and the boys are going to be grown up, living their own lives, making their own friends, having their own relationships, dreaming their own dreams. And I am going to be on the outside looking in. That's just the way it works, I guess.
And it feels like it's already starting.