When you are handed a child, either a wee baby just snatched and pushed from your body, or a screaming toddler terrified of your strange face or a silent preschooler angry at their exploding world, a mother, a good mother, hands them their heart. This little person holds your world, and they become yours.
There are the good times that poets and mothers often write about, and remember on Mother's Days or in impassioned essays on the wonders of motherhood. There are horrible times that only are spoken about in hushed tones in a therapist's office or in the knowing, silent looks of other mother's of teenagers whose hearts are bruised and broken.
There is terror, and passion. Anger, pride, adoration and again more fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what failing your child means to their life. Fear that every decision is the wrong decision and that any decision could break them, or break you.
And then there is success. Success in the form of acknowledgement. Success in the form of surprise scholarships. Success in the form of a child who has reached the end of his childhood and is about to run full onto an adulthood full of potential. And they run into your arms and cling. And you sob. You sob because every fear, every worry, every prayer comes to this great day when your child glows with pride and potential and hope, and you, for just a brief moment, allow yourself to grasp in the reality that you did a good job.
This boy, this man-child, is my son. I raised him. Through good times and through bad times, through deep valleys and great joys, through my mistakes and his. I never let go and I never gave up and this weekend the pride in him, and the pride in a job well done on both our parts gave me pause.
Congratulations Greg. Congratulations Me.