My mother used to tell me that once a mother, always a mother. Even when your children are in their fifties. That was her explanation for the "You're not . . . " statement. "You're not . . . going to stay up late preparing lessons," or, "You're not . . . going outside without your heavy coat on," or "You're not . . . making a round trip to Saskatoon in one day."
I, of course, would be different. I would not hover over my adult children. Well, today, I hovered. Last night, I texted our daughter to arrange a time for a chat. No reply. Not too extraordinary--she has deadlines looming. I texted again this morning. No reply. I called. Answering machine. Now, my anxiety level is rising. A graphic artist, Dominique is working on a big animation project out of her home. She could have fallen, lying there, unconscious . . . or worse.
Concentrating on my own project has become a challenge. I leave a message on Facebook and Skype, I email, I call every fifteen minutes. Between calls, I recite the dozens of reasonable explanations: she might have turned off the ringer, or her phone needs charging, or she left it in another room. Practically slapping my fingers, I resist the temptation to text her partner for reassurance. Eventually, it's supper time, and I can justify a call. "She's right here," Andy says, in response to my call and my perfunctory acknowledgment of his cold. Now, I can breathe.
She is so sweet, not patronizing, not resentful of my hovering, just understanding. In September, she had a similar experience trying to get in touch with her brother. I am so grateful. In essence, she has mothered me, not only releasing me from my over-reaction but blessing me for it.
This, too, is delight.