On most of my brief visits home, I don't get to see my mother much. She only lives an hour from my in-laws on the Jersey side of the city, but it's a long hour, made more tenuous on her arrival when she has to visit with my in-laws around.
I've spent the last few years pushing the grandchildren on her. Granted, it was never an issue for my mom. She's a baby whisperer and consummate grandmother -- the one who will give long baths chock full of crazy kitchen utensils that always make the best bath toys, read stories for hours and hours, and hold them in her arms all night if that what it takes to get them to sleep.
She's mentioned, in passing, when we've had our tiffs about her making an effort to see the grandchildren, that she actually would like to see me. Alone. Without the kids.
I've shrugged it off, offering her precious time with the ones that are far cuter than my old tired mug.
But as my own daughter gets older, I realize how much I'll miss our time together. Her independence is both refreshing and sobering. And these days, I find myself admiring her from afar.
While I'm sure I'll love the moments I'll have with her children, I know there's no doubt I'll want to hold her tight in my arms, snuggle up close, and whisper "you know you're my best girl, right" softly in her ear.
Even when she's my age.
I know full well that things will change. Maybe things won't be how they are now. My own mother and I were never close. But I bet there were days when we were just like peas and carrots. Where she sat and read me long bedtime stories and stroked my hair until I fell asleep.
And so, on those possibly infrequent visits where I'll spoil my grandchildren like any grandmother would, I know I'll still long to hold my own sweet daughter close and tell her I love her more than life itself.
I can only hope that she, unlike me, will oblige her dear old mom's request.