I hear the words “I’m not doing anything” at least five times a day. My favorite is when I can smell and/or see exactly what Monkey is doing, yet when I ask how it’s going, the response is the same: I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING!

Today, Monkey washed her hands about twenty times with MY new Bath and Body Works foaming hand wash, so the smell told me exactly what she was doing, yet when asked the response was the famous “I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING.” There have been other times when the sound of the Learning Tower sliding across our hardwood floors is the dead give away. Additionally, the French doors on our refrigerator bump the pantry door if opened too quickly – again another clue that she is helping herself to something she didn’t want to ask me for. Of course, I don’t have mom super powers like she thinks I do when she’s busted, but it’s fun to let her think that I do.

While I do love her independence and I am grateful that she is learning to handle things on her own, I wonder when it will reach a point where I turn around and I’m not doing anything.

I have watched fellow moms struggle with this, and I have seen this thought taken to the extreme. Whether conscious or not, I have seen kids who cannot do anything for themselves because their mother handles it. When I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. I know a nine year old boy who cannot/will not butter his own rolls at the table because his mom always does it. To me, that mothers insecurity about losing her role has gone to the extreme. On the other hand, I understand it. As with anything, it is hard to find the balance and even though Monkey is finding her way more and more, I still have a lot to do with her and for her. Not to mention I am starting over with Caterpillar, and it is not our intent for him to be our last.

I suppose the reason for the heavy reflection is I re-read the post about Monkey going to school, and when I said I am less of a person without her, I meant it. I know all of the experts will say that is detrimental to a marriage and a person, but motherhood is what I was made for. I have never wanted to do anything else, and although I did a lot of different roles for years, this is right where I should be.

As I watch Monga go through somewhat of an empty nest (I say somewhat because her youngest just moved out, but one hers recently came back home) I am amazed at her strength. I couldn’t send my three year old to preschool without bawling like I was the three year old, and she sent her eighteen year old into the real world.

I suppose after you’ve spent that many years being a strong role model (which she has) it comes naturally. She had four kids, and this one was her last to move out, so I am sure she has prepared her heart and prepared her kids for all that may come. Her years of experience and her expertise clearly gave her the peace that is required. I think that’s admirable and something I hope to understand some day.

But as far as preparing for that moment myself, I can’t help but feel, good or bad, I’m not doing anything.