Early this morning, I told my sons that I needed to bring some papers to school for their sister which basically meant I was riding with them. They both acknowledged me while they were busy preparing. Ten minutes later, I went down only to find out they’ve left without me.
Of course, I contemplated driving myself but since they’ve only just left the house, I called the driver to wait (as my husband brings me to them on his way out) and the minor issue has long been resolved. When I asked them why they didn’t tell the driver I was coming, they both said they simply forgot. At that point (after fuming with irritation at being forgotten), I came to the realization that despite our current challenging situation, my boys have moved on and adapted.
Until a couple of months ago, the thought of me getting left behind and forgotten was unthinkable as I was bringing all three of them to school every morning, with very few exceptions when I would have an early meeting or be traveling. And until recently, I was one of those moms who would be present at every sport or school event for every kid.
So this is my new reality. My presence in my boys’ everyday lives has become optional. I go to soccer practice, tournaments, school, or hang out with them when I can but I’m no longer required. A two-edged sword, I’m saddened to suddenly seem insignificant in their existence and yet, at the same time, I am proud of them for having grown in maturity and understanding as our family faces this challenge of cancer. They have managed homework, tests, projects, without help from me (my most major contribution being the printer of papers, reports, and pictures).
My sons are thirteen and nine years old and, young as they are, I will never be able to bring things back to the way they used to be. Maybe the growing up came much sooner than I would’ve liked but I guess that’s how we want our children to end up for life’s adversities: mature, responsible, and resilient. Just like Ri, Rico and Renzo will always be my babies but babies they are no longer.