My mom always said the easier it was for us to leave her, the easier it would be for us to come back. I understand that now as I watch my teens test their distance and return, an ongoing, erratic cycle of back and forth. I try to show I’m fine when inside I’m cursing my mother for not telling me it feels like my heart is crushed and restored over and over. My younger one (14 going on When I Live On My Own) recently had a return to needing me as the comforting mom of childhood and it’s bringing so many tears. I know that in the next hours/days/weeks we’ll be back to surly one word answers and the silence, though. I don’t know when it feels better, but I know we’re not alone.

Expand full comment