Each time my children and I part, there is an ache in the center of my chest.
It’s a swirl of hope and longing, a pang of sadness, a glimmer of joy.
As they stride off on their own, with them they take my control, my influence, my protection, a mother’s love.
Yet they gain independence and confidence and try on their personality to see what fits.
When they go, so goes my I love you’s, my comforting embrace, my mama bear protection.
Yet they self-sooth and grow thicker skin and hold their own on a child-sized piece of solid ground.
I know while we are apart they still smile, still giggle, still feel loved and happy.
Yet still…I ache.
While they play, as they learn, during their lunch, all through recess…
I ache, a mother’s ache.