Written on my son’s nineteenth birthday
My son is raised now. It’s just me and the cat.
I’m supposed to miss him. We’ll see about that.
There are those moments of looking back
When the current silence seems to lack
An energy, perhaps a soul
That ought to go inside this hole.
But then I remember—teens don’t talk
To their parents, that is. They turn and walk
And grunt or groan or loudly sigh
To every question, statement or reply.
So, off I went, in my nest on wheels,
To be free for a while, to see how that feels.
And it feels pretty good most of the time.
I’m finding my own space, rhythm and rhyme.
I call him every week just to check
If he needs anything, but what the heck?
Even if he did, what could I do?
I did it all when he was new.
And now he’s grown and needs his space
To make decisions, to fall on his face,
To soar, to climb, to make his way
And I have so little left to say.
Now it’s time to be my own mother
To give to myself, not to another,
The time, the space, the healing calm,
The gift of quiet. I need that balm!
So I travel, I walk, I read, I sit.
I do some artwork, but I won’t knit
Or rock or go to the senior center.
That’s a phase I’m not ready to enter.
Our longer life spans don’t come at the end.
They come in the middle, when we can tend
To all those things we didn’t get to do
When we wanted to, back in ’72.
So Stop the War! Save the Earth!
I won’t give up just because I gave birth.
It’s time for me and folks of my kind
To gather together and speak our mind.
I may be older, but I’m not so far gone
That I can’t experience another dawn
Of awakening, energy, power and peace.
I’ve got the time now to work without cease
For all that I wanted back before
That marriage and the child I bore.
I homeschooled him for many years.
I bandaged his boo-boos, calmed his fears.
Now it’s myself that I homeschool.
I’ve dipped myself in a deepening pool
Of knowledge, wisdom, love and light.
It’s my time now! It’s my right!
So, yes, I admit, I miss my child,
But he’s not gone. It’s me that’s gone wild.
And when I’m gone for good, I hope he’ll say,
“That Mom of mine—she did it her way.”