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.