"here, let me tie that bandana for you."
"here, let me help you make your bed."
"here, let me dig out your toothbrush for you. i think it's at the bottom of your backpack."
i was hovering, and i knew it. but not too much, i thought.
every offer for help so far was being greeted with, "oh, that's OK, mom. i can do it."
really? since when did my 8 year old suddenly not need me anymore? i felt panic creeping up into my chest. i didn't like this feeling.
i really don't get into a lot of the mushy-wushy, lovey-dovey-ness that so many moms i know are so good at. it seems to all come naturally to them. they can sit in a room and talk all day long about how great their kids are, how blessed they are to be mothers. some of them even go so far as to homeschool (gasp!), sew with their kids, do art projects on a regular basis.
i really do fail at so many "motherly" things. i work so much that at a recent mother's day tea in my son's classroom, where he had filled out a "facts about mom" sheet, his response to the question "if your mom could go anywhere it would be_______________" he filled in "off the computer."
both older kids have written entire stories at school, which they have then proudly displayed for all the world to see, about how "mom works on the computer; dad takes us to the library."
it's embarrassing. at least, i feel embarrassed when i see these things.
so maybe i overcompensate sometimes, by being overbearing or overly motherly. or maybe it's not really overcompensating. i just love loving on my kids. i remember my mom and dad visiting after rhys was born, and my mom turned to me and said, "do you realize that some of the things you do for these kids they can really do themselves?"
that was a real eye opener. i hadn't realized how much i liked to "baby" them. it's probably why they still can't tie their shoes on their own (very well) or ride a bike (very well) or why they don't have a long list of chores. i just really do like doing things for them.
but this will become increasingly more difficult as they (rightfully) grow into more and more independent little (and then big) people who want (and need) to learn to do things on their own.
i know in my mind that i should be celebrating this. after all, if they can grow into independent young adults someday then this means they won't be still living with me when they are 30. it means that aedan (who we often jokingly call our "meal ticket") will be able to hold down a steady job and fulfill this prophecy of ours. :)
but all of this "i can do it myself, mom" is incredibly unsettling to me, because i know this means that one day i'll wake up and realize that they won't need me at all.
or maybe they will. they will always need me to love them. and in the end i guess that's what matters most.