A Mother’s Difficult Gift

In honor of mother’s day, there will be ample mention of how much mothers do, how much mothers give, and how many wonderful attributes go into being a mother. Those ideals will abound.
The one talent mothers have which often goes unnoted in a Hallmark card is the wonderful way some mothers master the art of simply letting go. Celebrating the difficulty of mothers to let a child grow is this wonderful poem…

The Summer-Camp Bus
Pulls Away from the Curb
Sharon Olds

Whatever he needs, he has or doesn’t
have by now.
Whatever the world is going to do to him
it has started to do. With a pencil and two
Hardy Boys and a peanut butter sandwich and
grapes he is on his way, there is nothing
more we can do for him. Whatever is
stored in his heart, he can use, now.
Whatever he has laid up in his mind
he can call on. What he does not have
he can lack. The bus gets smaller and smaller, as one
folds a flag at the end of a ceremony,
onto itself, and onto itself, until
only a heavy wedge remains.
Whatever his exuberant soul
can do for him, it is doing right now.
Whatever his arrogance can do
it is doing to him. Everything
that’s been done to him, he will now do.
Everything that’s been placed in him
will come out, now, the contents of a trunk
unpacked and lined up on a bunk in the underpine light.