“Mom, will you come with me when I move into the dorms, when I leave for college?” Brad asked me this question years ago as he was observing parents carrying luggage and pillows up the stairs, into the massive buildings, in anticipation of ‘letting go’, helping their children start a new chapter in their young lives. We were inside the campus bookstore at the University of Arkansas, browsing, when Brad’s thoughts meandered to his own future.
I remember when I first became a mother. I was young! Yet, I was ready. Elizabeth was placed on my chest eight days before our 2nd wedding anniversary. Roberto popped in three years later. And finally, Bradford, a whopping 8 years later. Definitely planned, planned, and planned! I embraced motherhood. I was meant to guide (yes guide, not control!) these children of mine through life, to help them learn new things. They were continually raised with focused guidance, making sure peace, love, and happiness were being absorbed daily.
Elizabeth began at a very young age (year 3, to be exact) to ask very personal questions. You see, when a child is that young, she has no idea that her questions might be hard for mom and/or dad to answer. That was the beginning of my understanding of what a very important job I had been gifted to undertake. Not only was I supposed to help the kids develop morals and values, and simply love them, I needed to be there (individually, and as a group) emotionally.
I honestly feel Elizabeth opened me up, way back when she innocently, yet inquisitively, asked “Where do babies come from?” She taught me, in that moment, what kind of parent I was going to be. Neither of us realized how great the relationship between my three youngsters and myself would develop over the years. I simply listen, openly. In the end my kids like having me around, like my company.
So, when Brad asked me if I’d be with him, I knew he asked because he likes me. “Of course,” I stated. “Good,” he returned. “Because I want you to help me.”