A Mother’s Love Defined
“A Mother is only as happy as her saddest child,” is a phrase that resonated with me once I became a parent to three beautiful children. I was twenty-three when I had my oldest, twenty-four when I had my second child, and (gasp!) thirty-eight when I had my youngest. I remember thinking I was a “grown-up” in my twenties as a wife and mother, but looking back, I was just a kid myself. I didn’t have a clue who I was, let alone what my life purpose was; but what I did know for sure, was that I loved my children more than I ever thought was humanly possible. Nothing, and no one, can describe in words, what it’s like when you first hold your babies.
Now, thirty-six years later, my husband, Sam and I have such pride in the way our children have turned out. By the grace of God, we managed not to screw things up. We’ll be the first to admit we dropped the ball many times exercising our less than admirable parenting skills. Speaking as a mother, I’d jump at the chance to go back in time and listen a little more closely when they needed my full attention, or add a boost in their confidence when they were facing childhood challenges. I remember all too well, at the end of the day, having trouble sleeping, knowing one of my kids was experiencing a low point in their lives. (In reality, that doesn’t change regardless of their age.)
Spending time with them as adults, I still recognize the kid in each of them. When they’re facing struggles in their adult lives now, as a parent, the urge is there to swoop in and remedy the situation, but as a mother, it’s not in my job description anymore. Even motherly textbook reminders on day-to-day issues can draw audible sighs from them in person or over the phone.
What it comes down to is this, as we resolve the fact that our mothering skills no longer take a front seat in our adult children’s lives, we hold the honorary position as their head cheerleader on the rest of their journey.
Published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, October 30, 2016.