I have a greater perspective as a result of this place in my life, sandwiched between caring for an aging parent and launching a teenager to adulthood.

I see the difficulties of mothering from all sides. I remember my frustration with my mother, my rebellion, and the anguish we inflicted upon one another. Now I find myself in her place . . . on the receiving end of a child desperately trying to separate and declare a life of his own. We're taking Jacob back to William & Mary today, ready to begin his second year of college.

With kindness, I understand that my mother did her best, better than I gave her credit for. She was the first person in this world to hold me. She put her wishes and her dreams into a future for me before I could see I could see it myself. She made room for my needs before her own.  And I hope that my son will someday see that the same is true for me.  

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
— Naomi Shihab Nye
Day 174

Day 174