Growing Up Together

by Erin Thorp

I remember clearly the day my son walked across the kitchen, hands behind his back and moving his body so that he was always facing me fully.

I asked, “What do you have behind your back?”

He replied as we all have, “Nothing!”

I smiled as I remembered trying this very same manoeuvre out on my parents. It didn’t work for me, and it wasn’t going well for my son either.

I explained to him how I was a kid at one time and remember side-stepping from the fridge to the stairs, which led to the basement with that coveted snack hidden behind my back.

So again, I asked, “What do you have behind your back?”

He looked at me and said, “Mom, you just blew my mind … you used to be a KID??”

Something in that moment not only shifted for him, realizing that his mom was once a kid too but for me as well. I began to see my mother as someone who was learning and growing in her own motherhood journey, just like I was. My mom had 4 kids in 6 years in her 20’s, a house full of teenagers as she entered her 40’s and was an empty nester before turning 50. Here I am in my 40’s with a house full of teenagers and trying to figure out this next phase.

As my son realized that his mom was once a kid just like him, I realized that my mom was also just like me, a woman trying to figure out how to mother to the best of her abilities. I honestly believe that every mother is doing the best she can with what she has. And what I’ve also come to consider is that our mothers don’t have it all figured out! As mothers, they become grandmothers and again have to learn a new role in a new phase of life.

Moms, we’re in this together, learning and growing alongside each other. As I soften into this new knowledge, I can meet my children, my mom and myself with a newfound sense of compassion. We are all learning and growing. We are all doing the best we can. We are filled with love for each other, and as moms want to protect and support our children the best way we know-how. Next year will bring a new phase for me as my eldest prepares to leave home, and I know I will find myself on a new growth edge in my motherhood journey. I know my mother will have some wisdom around this next phase to supplement the discoveries I must make independently.

Be gentle with each other and remember, we are all growing up together.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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