Our son Joshua arrived late afternoon in mid November 1994 – three years after our daughter Paige entered the world. As with Paige, during my pregnancy with Josh, my Doctor reminded me that motherhood, and having a child, is a woman’s privilege (not a right!). This time around though, becoming a mother to a son was unfamiliar territory.
I fondly remember snuggling with Josh to read a book together, to watch a show, or just chat. I always received a kiss on the cheek as he darted out the car to the school playground as well as at pick-up time. I loved it, however, those goodbye kisses ended abruptly on the first day of senior school when I dropped him in the parking lot! I wasn’t sure I liked that – but reality set in. I’d probably stretched it far enough as it was.
I’ve proudly watched Josh grow from a baby to a quiet, confident, compassionate (and of course a handsome) young man. During this time, I learned that a relationship between mom and daughter versus mom and son is quite different. Moms and their adult daughters can still curl up together on a coach (eating popcorn while watching a girly movie), laughing and crying – and still have sleepovers together. Not a mom and her grown son! As such, I learned to acquire new interests along the way, and adopt a different perspective in communicating to Josh.
Although Josh enjoyed competitive sports growing up (that I loved watching him play!), one in particular became a huge passion of his: golf. He was introduced to the game at 5 years old, and has played since, both competitively and for fun. He is a talented golfer to watch, and I admire his patient and respectful attitude on the course….even when I know (because I am his mom) he’s frustrated to no end!
Because of his love of golf, I learned to play the game (despite my belief that it should be six holes!), this time with him has been a highlight and a real love of mine. Not sure he demonstrates patience with me when I’m on the course (apparently I ask way too many questions), but for the most part he’s my biggest fan when I hit a good shot. He’s also my biggest fan otherwise, which is a real luxury and a joy. It’s the kind of mother-son relationship where I know I’ll always have a place in his heart.
For our children, travelling through adulthood may seem like forever, but for moms the time goes by so quickly. Nurturing an adult relationship with our children is both exciting, challenging and new territory. How much can we say? How much do we stand back and watch? When can and should we voice our opinions? All of course in hopes their decisions turn out well, and if not, then hoping a valuable life lesson or learning has occurred. When our babies are grown, we become a different support system than when we could just pick them up for a hug. Mom’s kisses always made it better, but now it seems being their confidante (at times) is the new “picking them up” – there are new rules and boundaries to what they share and what they want advice on. Perhaps it’s just to listen and not say anything, but even an adult child needs his or her mom to catch their tears at times.
From watching my kids, my friends, and my friends kids – a mom and daughter’s bond remains strong as her daughter moves through marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood of her own. But I wonder how that translates for a mother and son? I can’t help but think that for years we are the only woman in our son’s lives, so I expect it may be different when our sons find the love of their lives and become parents themselves. Joshua has a great role model in his Dad, Michael. I can only hope the woman that wins his heart will share the same family love and strong relationship that we have!
For now, I will continue taking our quiet moments and giggles together. Having business conversations with Josh over the past year has been a whole new level of engagement for us: we are learning from each other! He has become my “voice of reason” on many occasions, and is extremely supportive, demonstrating the importance of our relationship through our conversations, his smile and giggles at my quirky thoughts, actions and his daily hugs. I am proud to have been his first love and I know the nurturing of our relationship to this point will continue a strong bond well into the future (… and yes we do have our share of challenges as well!).
As far as golf goes – he tells me I need to play more in order to really become consistent in my game (…and to know which club to hit when). I have girlfriends who recently took up the game, far more seriously than me at this point, and I do plan to play more and enjoy the sisterhood on the course.
It’s hard to believe summer is half over. The thing I love most is that it allows time to slow down, enjoy the sunshine, and be with our family – truly and purposefully – to have those “slow” conversations we remember most. It may not be the golf course, but finding a place and time to visit with your son, to ask about his life goals and aspirations, and to see what fills his heart will be some of the most gratifying time you will ever invest. These years go by faster with each passing day, and soon, a big place in his heart will be filled by a lovely young woman who lights up his life in new and exciting ways. I look forward to watching Joshua’s journey unfold, and continuing to nurture our mother-son relationship as he encounters new experiences in life.
So make the time count, and take time for the hugs – why? because we can!
Our favourite golf clothing line – Longball Golf Apparel
Our favourite place to golf – Clear Lake Golf Course
Blog Feature Photo: Leanne Lynn Photography
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Great piece and so true , keep them close as long as you can
Beautifully written, Denise. ❤️
As a mother to 2 sons, I can relate to your story with Josh. Mine have found their loves, and while they don’t need me as much, from time to time, I’m still needed for a listen. Then arrive grandchildren and that is the best of blessings. Very nice piece, Denise.
How lovely. You write with a kind hand, I can feel the passion and your maternal conviction in each paragraph. Your family growth was so enjoyable to visit, even briefly here for just a moment on my Saturday afternoon. Though my family picture is not exactly the same it truly is as you say. I agree we need to cultivate, to treasure time with family.