Recently, when I look at Phoenix my heart feels like it needs to expand, I feel so much love for him. I can't help but think how cute he is, how perfect his little face is and his ways are. Everything about him pleases me to my very core, he is my everything and I know all mothers must feel this way about their babies.
A few days ago I was watching him adoringly and his dad Ayden came in the room and I laughed to myself. I laughed because I wondered if Ayden's mum still looks at him and thinks, 'Oh he's so cute', with her heart expanding with the pure joy of having him in her life? I'm sure she must do, even though he's 6ft 1 now, a grown man, with a beard and age 35! But it got me thinking, does this overwhelming feeling of love towards our children wear off as they get older themselves....?
I asked my mum and I asked Ayden's mum and I asked every mum I've met with grown up children and they all told me the heart wrenching truth about it...
The love you have for your children, doesn't wear off ever. If anything it grows. You don't always get on with your children and you don't always like them once they are grown up but the love a parent has for their children never fades or wanes. The bond from the mother's side is never broken but they all told me the same thing and that is, you have to let your children go.
That was what they all told me with such a sad look in their eyes, "You have to let your children go when they grow up". As I looked at their faces as they told me this, I suddenly saw my own face 20 years from now and so with a lump in my throat, for what is to become and what has always been, I smiled at them and questioned them no further.....
As soon as Phoenix was born I did realise that he doesn't belong to me, he doesn't belong to anyone but himself and that in fact. it's me who belongs to him. What I didn't truly see though, is that one day I will have to let him go.
As each of these mums of older children, told me about how they had let their grown up children go, and even now, whenever I think about it, an overwhelming wave of panic and sadness comes over me. It is like I can feel the wrench that they must have felt as they watched their grown babies, dance off in to the sunset of their childhood years and onto the dawn of their adult lives.
I can only imagine the insane pull those mothers must feel every day towards their grown up babies. Like the umbilical cord has never been cut and it tugs painfully at your soul without your children even realising it.
I cry as I write this because I know Phoenix already holds my heart in his tiny hands and on that wonderful day. when I proudly watch him go on to live his own hopefully long, wondrous and full life. He will take my heart with him, without even knowing it and I will be left alone with a pain and emptiness that of course I will be happy to carry and probably all mothers feel privileged to feel.
Once I have let him go I know I will be, so grateful for my time with him and so worried about him every day no doubt.
I'm sure I will have memories of right now whispering in my mind, wishing I'd made the most of it. I can only imagine, I will be wishing that I'd spent more time with him.
So with this in mind, I now think, who cares if I am too tired to play with him? I'll do it anyway, I can sleep when I'm old and he's grown up. These are the days of my life, right now and they will so quickly be over and I will be watching my baby live his own life with an ache in my heart for the past, while radiating my love to him as he finds his own path.
I've played Peter Pan so many times in my career but it is only now I see all the wonderful references to the 'Mother' and what they mean. A mother will always have a secret kiss on her lips just for her children. It's a magical kiss because of the mountains of love it holds. There is no more powerful love than a mothers love for her children and only her babies can access that special magical kiss.
I can also see in the book Peter Pan, how powerful the image of her, keeping the window open for her children is....
I can't see me ever closing the window to Phoenix, no matter how old he is, he will always be my baby... Peter Pan held a mothers love above all else and there is no greater love but our children must be set free so they can pay that love forward to someone else and one day be parents themselves, when they will finally realised just how loved they are by us and even if we fall out or live miles apart, a mothers love never ever fades.
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