I have a weak heart. Not in the physical sense.

It beats the appropriate number of times for my age according to my doctor, and rarely acts up despite enduring stressful situations and exercise and no exercise.

I have a weak heart when it comes to watching the kids I love and worship not loving me the way I have grown accustomed to.

It happened so gradually I barely noticed—or if I did, I chalked it up to a fluke and assumed a return to normalcy in short order.

I have to play this cool.

If I let on that your air kiss as opposed to that lip lock accompanied by the perfect squeeze bothers me, you’ll have my number and may use it to your advantage in years to come.

I’m cool!

One for me. Yours over my shoulder.

Mine in the direction of the refrigerator where I am heading to gorge myself when you exit the room.

Here comes child number two who walks around me in a large enough circumference that all physical contact can be avoided.

No air kisses in the forecast.

There are strangers lurking in my home who engage in only three activities: eating, texting and burping!

I speak a foreign language they once were familiar with.

Like hieroglyphics, it has become extinct.

There is no response to a simple question like, “How are you?” although I enunciate each word and speak at a decibel level that Grandpa would hear without his hearing aid.

These adolescent aliens are comprised mostly of  “deer in the headlights” looks and majestic eye rolls accompanied by the occasional grunt or request for food.

I flip on my robotic switch located in the recesses of my soul and act like the world is my oyster.

Who needs to know that my pearls were stolen right out from under me?

I think it’s time to place a call to my online therapist.

He needs to know I am not doing too well in the “I can accept and celebrate my children are growing up” department.

He offers sound and sage advice.

“It’s all part of the process and it’s to be expected.”

I hang up. He’s a moron.

The Mama needs some lovin’ like in the olden days.

I want someone to ask me to cuddle with them and I want to breathe in freshly-shampooed strawberry hair and watch a little thumb finds its way home.

I want to argue one more time when bubbles land outside the bathtub because too many toy boats landed inside.

I want to discuss the merits of a well-balanced meal for dinner while resisting pleas for Cocoa Krispies.

I want to practice penmanship skills and get everyone to stop biting the erasers off the pencils.

I want to pack a Miss Kitty lunchbox and fill an Incredible Hulk thermos.

I want to applaud milestones and show them off in pictures and cards and Facebook posts!

First steps.

First word.

First grade.

Want to know what I would give for another round of “Why can’t I go when everyone else is allowed?”

The mama needs some lovin’.

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!