Somewhere along the line of the past few years, a maternal thread loosened and the elements that strung together the days between my son and I met alteration. Perhaps it is not dramatic as this first statement makes it out to be. I mean, clearly, our intertwined partnership holds many moments of change up to this point. I remember when he let go of my hand for the first time at preschool and the day he did not need to hug me anymore before getting on the bus. I remember his first sleepover and the first Saturday when he chose friends over me. This growing independence is ultimately what it meant to be, and lately I have been quieting my yearning heart even more just to hold this path of freedom for him.
With a few less mom-son cuddles and special duo outings upon his decade of life, I have to find other ways to measure the strength of our relationship. I need a tap in, a sound check, and a data review every so often.
So, last weekend, we got in the car. Half the list of stops were only mildly necessary and I was certainly wise enough to throw in a stop to his favorite hobby store for the full-on buy in. It didn’t really matter where we would go. We just needed the miles.
My heart melted when we were not even out of reverse, nor fully backed out of the driveway, when he asked me to play his favorite station on Spotify. We always dance and sing in the car.
I doubled-over with love when he began divulging the details of his days at school, the new subjects that are his favorite and the antics of the bus and the playground. We always talk it out.
Our smiles and laughter filled the car as we told and retold our best memories, complete with narrated voices and sound effects. We always swap stories.
My mindbeats held steady when he asked me big questions about life and the world. We always go deep.
The lump in my throat surfaced when I got the hug and thank you at the end of our Saturday-errand adventure. I touched the tears out and away from my eyes and watched him leap off to his next experience of the day. The miles we had shared were, for me, a check-in on the strength of our relationship and a scan on the degree to which he is finding success in his own living spree. I hope that the miles we shared were, for him, not only a check-in on the strength of our relationship, but a scan on the degree to which I believe in him and the depth of my enduring love for him.