There is such an empty sadness that fills your home when children whose laughter and shouts of anger have left the hallowed halls. When as a parent you are lucky to receive a text message from your child who used to speak real words to you daily and smile at you like they meant it, not to mention whisper words of love; that these children had the audacity to actually grow up and continue on with their lives, leaving you somewhere behind. And I am so proud, but I am also so invested, letting go is definitely not in the mother’s manual of learning how to cut the cord, because there isn’t one.
I was a teenage mother who graduated high school six months pregnant. The whole of my life has been my family. My first born daughter was an only child for six years; her father and I were still quite young and considered her being our only until her little sister and brother decided to join her. (You would have to speak to their counselors to decide if they are happy with the way things turned out.) But darn-nit – that used to be a word of profanity I believe – this is about me and how hurt my heart has become in their departures and growth into amazing people. (And as far as I know, they don’t have counselors, but then, I am only their mama, madre, mommo, monster. They were never allowed to call me by my given name.)
So you can imagine my extreme distress and shock when these beautiful children sat me down over their spring vacation, yet again, for a domestic device intervention. A meeting of their sibling minds that I had a damaging affiliation with Roomba, an appliance and fostered-child-robot vacuum of mine they were seriously considering removing from my home. How could they be so unkind, do they not have internet withdrawals, data deprivation and all consuming smart-phone obsessions?
I believe it went something like this – with me sitting at the same table, like I wasn’t even there – (I’m surprised they even voiced their thoughts out loud when they could have just texted each other while in the same room.)
“I think it’s time we got her something else.”
“Yea, I agree.”
“It’s embarrassing. She needs something different to talk about.”
And then they spoke about different objects they could purchase to end my fixation, but who or better yet what would clean my floors? These three little pieces of amazing-ness (not a word) surely weren’t going to do it.
So spring break is over, Roomba and I stare out the window wondering where all the time has gone, when next my sweet ornery munchkins will return and the endless cycle continue. The immense joy at having your home again filled with their bubbling presence – only to have it end, equally as painful – as the first time they drove away with packed bags in the back of their cars. The tail-lights waving good bye and a mom’s tears and prayers that they understand just how much it is that a mother and her robotic device can love them.
Find Love, Be peace, Vacuum on. Send Sunshine.