Book Body Soul’s first post as a guest blogger on Mothering in the Middle.

photo by Steve Johnson

“Mom on Demand”

I am standing at my new desk, a desk that can be raised to a standing height or lowered to a sitting height. I love it! The room that this desk stands in is my office.  It has been in a bit of transformation lately; just like my life. The walls are painted the softest of green. A small but dazzling crystal chandelier light hangs from the center of the room. It is pleasant here alone with my own thoughts.

Suddenly I hear the garage door open and footsteps. “Mom, I’m home!” yells my daughter from the kitchen as she loudly drops her book bag, coat and whatnot that I envision in a trail on the floor. My peacefulness is broken by her voice and I am suddenly transported back ten years ago when she would come home from school with the same declaration. Although times have changed, things have a way of staying the same. I am still here whether or not she is.

Finally, I hear, “Mom?” as she nears my office. And, upon finding me, it is like presto! I am on. Just like the cable TV that always slightly glows as it waits to be powered on, I am also now “on.” She has turned on the Mom on Demand remote.  Press the button and I am available 24 hours a day. My children choose when, how and where to connect with me. I am always here glowing softly waiting whether or not I am needed. Nobody brings my children what they want more than Mom On Demand!

I hear the dog ring his bell which signals that he wants to go outside. My daughter says, “Hold on Louie!” I hear her loudly give him hugs and a dialogue of I missed you begins. I love to hear her home from college. Just listening to the sounds she makes gives me an idea as to what she is up to. Now, I hear the shower start and the sounds of her sneakers drop to the floor. They will remain there until she needs them again or until her older sister starts complaining about them being there. It is just how she leaves her cereal bowl in the sink. I refuse to put it in the dishwasher. It is a battle of the wills. This bowl and the next bowl and next will remain there until there is yelling. Then she sweetly says, “Oh, I forgot.” I reach for my glass of water; I can still taste the perfect lovely gluten-free almond horn cookie I had a few minutes ago.  That perfect cookie was being eaten peacefully before I became Mom on Demand, again.

Now, as my daughter is singing in the shower, I sit here thinking of my life as an empty nester.  I am supposed to travel, suppose to not make dinner if I don’t feel like, and I am suppose to have a full night of worriless peaceful sleep. That has not happened yet.  My children are 20 and 23.  The 23-year-old college graduate has a wonderful job as a nurse. She has decided to live at home to save money. I am thankful that she is here because on her days off we sometimes hang out together. I still, however, make sure there is food in the house for her, remind her to make her dentist appointment and teach her how to pay her bills. I still listen for her when she drives home from work at 2am. I still worry when I see her sick and she still wants mom to make her toast with cinnamon and sugar to make her feel better.

The 20 year old, who is now blow-drying her hair, still wants her favorite foods. She still calls me with her stressful days of tests and papers and she still asks should I go to the infirmary.  She still wants me to make her toast with cinnamon and sugar on it just as she did when she was 6 years old. My daughters have not really changed much from when they were 6,10,16 or 23. There is always new motherhood in the offing, no matter how old your children get. I am still Mom when they need me, and even when they don’t.

When they both were at college, my husband and I looked at each other every night and asked what do we do?  After all the years of driving and worrying, it was finally time to relax and enjoy being without children in the house.   AND SO, We got a puppy!  Louie became our newest family member.  We started being parents to a young one all over again…. potty training, taking him to school and scheduling play dates with other dogs.  Now, we have to be home for the dog!  We choose to spend our spare time walking with Louie, sitting in our backyard watching him play or staying home and watching a movie. I am NOW Mom on Demand for Louie, too!

My daughter peeks her head into my office.  “See you later, I’m meeting my friends,” she says as she kisses my cheek. I breathe in her wonderfully washed hair and her signature perfume. I am still Mom, now and forever, as I sit here in my office trying to figure out where my life is headed. I know one thing for sure: that I will always be Mom on Demand; and I would not have it any other way. I reach for another cookie, gaze out my office window, and contemplate.  REMOTE OFF. Mom Out but always still available!

This appeared on Mothering in the Middle. Please visit her site. Thank you! 

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