Mother's Day arrived and we had no reservations anywhere. I wanted to go to lunch with the boys. And I had just won two $25 gift cards for Buffalo Wild Wings in a raffle, so I suggested we go there. "Are you sure?" my husband asked more than once, knowing that the place is way more "man cave" than it is a relaxing, lunch spot. But being a mom of five boys, "man cave" stuff is pretty familiar.
So, I spent Mother's Day afternoon with my husband and my boys in a crowded, noisy sports bar. I sipped on a Twisted Margarita while I watched bits of the Bulls game and Cubs game. I munched on more fried foods that I'd eaten in a long time. And I sat at the table glancing at these kids who are becoming men and lamenting over where the time has gone.
They are currently ages 10, 11, 13, 15 and 20. I remember the early days when I niavely figured it would get easier...nothing could be harder than sleepless nights and diaper changing, right? But, each stage is its own level of "hard" and it's an ongoing challenge to meet the basics of survival with lots of encouragement, working to help them find their niche and place in the world and stepping back and letting them make their own choices - and mistakes. It's hard work, but it's well worth it.