My baby came home. O.k., as a third year medical student, he
isn’t technically a baby. He isn’t even technically my baby as three younger sisters arrived after him. And he only
came home for four days. But any mother reading this knows what I’m feeling.
There seems to be so little I can do for my children now
that they are grown. It filled my heart to be able to cook his favorite meal,
prepare his bed with clean sheets and pick him up at the airport. Forgotten is
how tiring it was to prepare nutritious meals every night, to do constant
laundry (though from about the age of nine my children were responsible for
their own clothing) and to be the on-call chauffeur. Also forgotten (almost) is
the exhaustion of sleepless nights when he was an infant, the disgust at his
joyful eating of slugs in the back yard as a toddler and even the fright and
annoyance when as a teenager he almost drove my car off a cliff.
At least when he was younger I could take care of him. I could
nurture the illusion that I could keep him safe. For a few precious years my
kiss or hug cured most ills, my attention fed most needs. Even later, when my touch
wasn’t quite as magical, I could welcome his friends to our house and expose
him to books, various skills and nature. Not so today. As much as I would like
to smooth his path, I cannot produce his soul mate. I would do more harm than
good by contacting the powers-that-be and explaining to them why he will make a
fabulous doctor and they should give him his first choice of residencies. I can’t
spare him the pain of maturing or save him from his, altogether human,
I do what I can. First and foremost is prayer. A distant
second comes grabbing whatever opportunities I have to feed and nurture him.
For which I am most grateful for the past few days.