Some of us, not all of us, give ourselves up entirely to our offspring. We become something else. Our devotion to our children knows no bounds, and we would easily sacrifice our lives for them. We are valuable only to the extent that while we live, we can care for them. They are our lifelong obsession. We are addicted to them. It seems a very primitive point of view when you think about it. There is nothing sophisticated about procreation being the only reason to live.
Lately I've been watching the herring gulls care for their young. They are vigilant parents indeed. Not for them to call on babysitters. They do it all themselves. I've been a herring gull. Nervous, edgy, never off duty. For me parenting was a desperate business. A knife edge of life and death - at least, that is how it felt. And now...?
Now I'm working on retiring. The problem is its all so familiar. I slip into the role too easily and seamlessly. I'm in it before I know it. Trying to fix things, make things better, make things easier... smooth the way.
Step back now. Find myself again. Sift through the years and catch a glimpse of a forgotten shadow. Who was she?