I've heard this question time and time again from new moms. I've even asked it to myself as I pace the floors in the middle of the night, rocking my son, Wade, to sleep, hoping that some deep inner wisdom would answer me, "Yes!"
I asked the question the most, however, after taking my child to school each day as a three-month-old, four-month-old, six-month-old, and so on. As a mom who works outside the home Monday through Friday, I am thankful for his school, for the people who care for him, for their humor and expertise and love and attention. My husband, Adam, and I certainly couldn't do it without them. And even though his school is wonderful and his teachers bright and beautiful, the question lingers.
Does it get easier?
Wade is almost 17 months old now - walking and talking and playing with the best of them. We've been taking him to school since he was 3 months-old. And as I left Wade at school yesterday, having to peel him from my skin as his face turned red and he began to cry, no I think it was actually a wail, I realized something.
The answer is no.
It doesn't get easier because when you love, separation hurts.
Separation can be healthy and holy and restorative, for sure. And? It still hurts because we love.
It's like when our babies separate from our physical bodies at birth. For some of us, it hurts like hell. For all of us, there is definitely discomfort, new sensations we have to figure out how to breathe through, how to hold with love, how to face with fierce compassion and gentle strength.
And? It, too, is the healthy, natural course of events. Our babies are not meant to remain physically inside of us forever.
After leaving Wade in his sadness yesterday, I cried, too.
My life began to flash before my eyes. I saw Wade driving away for the first time as a sixteen-year-old. I saw him moving away for college. I saw him taking a job in a far off land. I then thought of my mom and how she still cries every time I leave, how I cry when I leave her, too.
For a moment, I began to curse love.
"Damn you, love. Why does it have to be this way?"
Then, just as in labor, I began to yield to it, and at the next stop light I slowly, reverently, peacefully bowed to love, trusting that love is what brought Wade to me and love is what will keep us together, no matter how far apart.