Saturday, May 07, 2005

Access Codes

Access Codes

Geeky Mom laments her responsibility for the myriad of details that keeps the family running. My other half pleaded for a halt to my travels this spring, he was overwhelmed by the logistics. Why the moms?

When I was young, I was sure that my mother never slept. When I called, she appeared! Thinking back, with 6 kids -- 4 under 6, she probably didn't ever sleep in those days. I've come to realize that the concept of 24/7 access to mom by kids is not a linear function of the number or age of the kids. All two of mine, well past toddlerhood, track me down in the bathroom (I swear a light goes on when I close the door), in bed ("Mom's sleeping," I hear my husband call, unheeded by the owner of the feet pounding up the stairs), and on the road (thanks to the cell phone, I'm a first responder to domestic disasters thousands of miles away). Despite a parenting partner who can do it all, when the kids need something, I'm the first person they call.

We're trained in the womb. Mom is there 24/7, with warmth, comfort and sustenance - and she doesn't have to be shared with siblings. Dropped into the cold world, I suspect my kids miss these days more than they realize. I think I miss these days more than I'll admit. I still remember my mother holding me after my first husband died. I could hear her heart beating, feel her warmth in the midst of desolation, and be comforted. I held her as she died last month, longing to comfort her, longing for her comfort.

Maybe holding the one string, that stretched ever so long umbilical cord, is what makes us feel responsible for the rest of the strings that hold it all together. These are the ties that bind - and there's no breaking them (or break for the weary!).

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