Beneath the ethereal joy a mother feels at the first sight of her son, lies a nugget-sized ache wrapped in fear. Her infant son needs her. She loves him unconditionally. But she also feels the ache of knowing that he will grow into a man and leave, and one day belong to another. The juxtaposition of elation and fear is different for many mothers than the joy and fear they feel when a daughter is born.
She knows from the moment her son belts out his first wail that she exists to love him. She is needed because he needs her. He needs the nourishment, the security, and the love that she provides which will not only keep him alive; but also keep her knowing that she is needed. So she will protect, adore, and nurture this tiny boy until he becomes a man and then, the ache will feel overwhelming. As a man he will leave, and life as a mother will never be the same for her. She will continue to love her son, but the connection will be reworked. Not because she has changed but because one day, he will belong to another.
This knowledge did not exist before his birth. But it presents itself the moment his mother sees him and as her maternal instinct draws her very close to her son. That is the way mother-son relationships are meant to be. From the moment she clings, she prepares herself ever so slowly for the eventual release.