Friday, September 16, 2011

I am the center of their universe

I used to be the shining star of their solar system.
As my children age and increase their mass, my gravitational pull on them decreases. True to form, my boys love disobeying rules, even laws of nature. In the rest of the universe, as mass increases, so does gravitational pull between objects. I get a little sad thinking about this changeWhen they were younger, smaller, their orbits were tight and quick and I could count on keeping them close to me. 


I confronted this change a few afternoons ago as I was trying to drag the older two out of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. I started the "Mom's Walking Away" gambit, a technique I haven't used in awhile. As little as a year ago, my gravitational pull would've been strong enough to lasso both older boys back into their normal nearness and I could get us out of there. But this time, I was actually able to get very, very far away from both of them and they exhibited no discomfort with the fact that the center of their universe, me, was nowhere to be seen.


I have friends whose children will take a few steps away from their parent and come snapping back like a rubber band. It looks like my oldest kids are past that phase. I wonder sometimes if my children would even leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back to me. 


Accelerating away from me.
The world around them is now exerting more gravitational pull than me. I suppose it is inevitable and appropriate, but it's still unsettling. If there are no planets orbiting me, am I still a shining star? If gravitation no longer holds them in orbit around me, will anything even keep my matter coalesced and intact?