Friday, January 09, 2009

Balance of Motherhood

Both of my daughters were home for Christmas and I cannot begin to tell you how much happiness flooded my heart while there were here. The oldest lives 600 miles away and the youngest attends college approximately 200 miles away. I have not seen the oldest since her sister’s high school graduation this past June and I was longing to see her face and hold her close.

As it turned out, my oldest brought a surprise along with her in the form of a fiancĂ©e. She is very excited about this new phase of her life and she seems to be very happy. They are planning on getting married in October 2009. I am happy for her and I would like to be ecstatically happy for her; however, there is a part of me, deep within my heart, that remembers some of the losers that have made their way into her life in the past. If they didn’t hurt her physically, they damaged her spirit and her self-confidence. There was more than one to whom I wished great evil! There is nothing about this new man that makes me think he is the same way. But I have only spent two days with him and we all know that the true nature of a person cannot be revealed in such a short time span. They live so far away that the possibility of me spending any extended amount of time with them before the wedding is slim. So I have to trust that she will tell me if she is unhappy or if there is a problem. I pray that she will know that she can trust me with such intimate thoughts.

My youngest is working on her college degree and has no time for matters of love. Or so she says. I have known for over a year now that she is “in love” with a young man that she calls a friend and for whom she quickly denies any other feelings. Yet the mention of his name makes her smile and she loves it when he holds her hand. She has been denying him a kiss for some time now and he is a very patient young man when it comes to my youngest. Tenacious, too. He finally won out this past weekend when she was home from college and got his kiss. Just admitting to the kiss made her blush! He says that he is going to make the trip to see her at college on her birthday and the excitement in her voice is genuine. I do believe that my sweet girl is going to have to admit that she, too, has emotions.

It is hard on a mother to watch her children from a distance as they explore life. Part of being a mother is about protecting your children – and as they grow older, they either do not need or do not want our protection. Our hearts remain vulnerable to their pain and yet there is no longer anything we can do to stop it from happening. All we can do is hold them in our arms and help them to learn from their mistakes when the pain comes.

There is a bright spot to this, also!! We, as their mothers, also get to experience, albeit vicariously, the joy of their explorations of life, the exhilaration of new “finds”, and the adventure of new experiences. I am blessed because my daughters do share their lives with me – the good and the bad – and we are able to laugh and cry as appropriate together. My heart soars over their new achievements and their new discoveries. This is the reward for the pain. This is the triumph for the sacrifice.

I am so happy to be a mother. I am truly blessed with two wonderful young women with whom I can share this amazing life!

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