I couldn’t wait to become a mother! Well, I guess I could as my oldest “child” (now 20) was born when I was 30 years old. But what I really mean is that I really looked forward to the experience. But I was scared! I realized that I had the opportunity to form a person. I’m not a total narcissist, but I realized that being a parent was serious business. As a parent you have the potential to totally damage a person (this kid) mentally and physically or you have (hopefully) the opportunity to mold a marvelous member of society.
So. like I said, I was afraid. Even though I have been around babies in some form for most of my life I felt that I needed practice. Thus, while in graduate school I got a rabbit figuring I could start easily with something to take care of and bear full responsibility for. I think it was pretty good practice but nothing prepares you for motherhood.
How can you practice never putting yourself first again? How do you practice falling so deeply in love it hurts? How do you know in advance that your protective nature will make you contemplate serious physical harm against something who is threatening “your baby?” (no matter the age of said baby, no matter the offender)
But, I thought you said it was hard? It IS!!!! See here’s the thing… they are not YOURS! They do not BELONG to you! They belong to themselves. They come through you as a gift to the world. They MUST feel their own pain, learn their own lessons, chart their own path and be who they decide they must be. That is the hard part. I have instinctively known this since before I had a children. I preached this mantra since my kids, who are four years apart, were babies. And that was fine… when they were young and I still ran every aspect of their lives. But now I have a young adult and one who is two years from graduating high school and believe you me it gets harder and harder to accept the fact that I am not the architect of their lives.
I’m not. And sometimes that doesn’t feel so good. But it forces me to reach back into my memories and examine my own life. So now, I realize the pain my mom silently endured when I decided to make some decisions that were not best because I, like most kids, thought I knew everything or at least what was best for me. She, after all, was not as educated as I so obviously she didn’t know anything. Right? Wrong!!!!! lol
So as we go into Mother’s Day weekend I want to start now publicly thanking my mom. She gave me wings to fly, never held me back, and let me make my own mistakes. That doesn’t mean she didn’t have anything to say about it. Oh she had plenty to say, but in the words of Frank Sinatra “I did it my way.”
For those of you who are just embarking on this journey, know that is the most rewarding, challenging, frustrating, important thing you will ever do. They will drive you crazy and make your heart burst with pride. And through it all you will think “this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.” And you know what? You wouldn’t have it any other way!
Peace and Blessings