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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

Here is what I have learned about being a mother:

For as much as we hope, plan and of course pray for our children there will come a day when they will do exactly as they please. There is a strong possibility their choices may not coincide with the dreams we have had for them.

You may want to bury your head in the sand against this thought, but perhaps if for one minute you think about the moments you turned your parents hair gray or when your kids turned yours then you know I speak the truth.

Recently, I spent the day with my daughter. She ran up to hug me and my first words to greet her outstretched arms were “That had better be fake!” She said “Mom, it’s your mother’s day gift. Don’t you love it?” Her smiling eyes gave her away.

Van gogh 178

Now before you get up on tattoo supporting soapbox let me intercept you.

When our girl entered college and we moved her into a condo we made the following deal:

We will financially support you (IE tuition, books, rent, utilities) if you:

Do not use illegal substances (no exceptions)

Maintain a good GPA

Get a part time job for clothing, gas money, etc.

Do not drink excessively

Do not engage in promiscuous behavior (IE bringing home strangers/shacking up with boyfriends, etc .)

Do not smoke

Do not get a tattoo

Why we said this:

The last four requests we as parents felt that such life decisions should be made by a self supporting adult. Smoking and excessive drinking are bad for your health. We’ve lost love ones to lung cancer and alcohol related diseases. Both vices can also be VERY expensive, as are good tattoos~ which yes, can be a work of art.

We felt that if our children could afford to purchase these things or make the adult decision to live with someone then they were adult enough to pay their own way.

Since we live in America you are welcome to disagree with our parenting philosophy. You are also welcome to support our kids. (hee hee)

Ok, so back to the tattoo.

Van gogh 179

It was fake.

But here’s the thing…I wouldn’t put it past her.

In the early years of her life I would often cradle her in my arms and think wonderful things for her:

She will join cotillion and become a debutante.

She will go to a fabulous university and join a sorority.

The fact is I thought and wished these things for her because deep down I had wanted and never had them myself.

Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier ~ 1951 debutantes (Vogue~ Cecil Beaton)

You know what happened right?

She wanted none of it.

She is quiet, even shy. She likes to stay close to home. She is free spirit who is a deep thinker, wonderful writer, and talented fashion designer. When she comes into her own full self I imagine that the world will have to hold on to its pants.

I recently had a conversation with a friend whose young adult child had made a life choice she wasn’t expecting…had dreamed of…planned for… or even expected.  She was riddled with sorrow and then guilt for being sorrowful.

I told her that it was ok. That she needed to take time to grieve the loss of the dream of the life SHE had had for her child. She wasn’t going to love them any less, she just needed to adjust to a new life, a new dream.

Just like that, a weight was taken from her. She said she hadn’t thought of it that way.

I told her that life, regarding my children, had gotten immensely easier for me since I had accepted that they would be their own person.

Sure I still have dreams.

I hope to be a mother in law someday.

I hope to sit in a rocking chair with several grandchildren.

But ultimately I have to raise them the best I can and then let them go.

It won’t stop me from hoping and praying that they’ll make good decisions.

I can’t help think but God had this all figured out a long time ago.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~ Galatians 5:22-26

Happy Mother’s Day!

My kids mom

18 comments :

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Happy Mother's Day Laura!
Such a beautiful story, your a great writer.
I thought to myself oh dear, my 23 year old daughter has done nearly all of your no-no's. And still I have hope and dreams for her because I know her whole life is not written in a few defiant teenage years.
Funny, my son was never defiant and I parented them the same. I guess it's true, you can wish, and you can parent your heart out but they will eventually make their own choices.
Hugs friend,
Cindy

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Happy Mama's Day! Beautiful post! You know I won't judge about tattoos ... I have 4 of them, so that would be a little hypocritical of me! LOL! :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love her sense of humor. She is such a lovely girl and I think she has obeyed all of the rules because that is the person she really is. You did a fabulous job raising her. Happy Mother's Day. Hugs, Marty

Vicki said...

Happy Mother's Day, Laura!

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Laura-

"I told her that life, regarding my children, had gotten immensely easier for me since I had accepted that they would be their own person."

Your post today reads like poetry, and not the sentimental type of verse but insightful and powerful and sometimes hard-to-hear words.

Thank you - YOU are an amazing Mom, my friend!

Loretta

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Happy Mothers Day to you.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and it wasn't fake!

the language of design said...

Happy Mother's Day to a wonderful Friend, Mom and wife and so much more. Your words of wisdom are platinum and well appreciated. This post lifts my spirits (once again)!I am lucky to call you friend. Enjoy the day!Hugs, Karen

The Bashful Nest said...

I hear you loud and clear, my oldest has 3 tattoos, not what I would have picked for him, but we each deal with our struggles differently in life. He is a free spirit with a big heart. We must accept our children for who they are and not what we planned for them.
Happy Mothers Day.

Michelle. thebashfulnest.blogspot.com

Redhead Sadie said...

I needed to hear this today. REALLY. Thank you for being there for me and not even realizing it...that's how fabulous you are! Xoxoxo Jenny

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Beautiful...

sheilaa131 said...

What a beautiful post and so appropriate for this dy. It served a reminder to me regarding my single daughter who is living her life her way. It is difficult to accept her decision but acceptance makes for peace. Thanks for your insight.

sarah said...

What a beautiful post full of real wisdom. Your daughter is lucky to have a mother like you.

Home Lifestyle Design said...

Loved your post today. I had to realize that my son is an individual with his own dreams, mistakes and achievements, and I am here to support him but not tell him what to do. He is a grown man and I love him. Thanks for sharing.

Auntie Em said...

You are an awesome mother!!!
Hope you had an amazing Mother's Day

I celebrated all weekend and I am even pushing a little into this week as well! I don't think one day is quite enough lol

Denise said...

This is a wonderful post, Laura, and I really needed to read this right now, as our son just graduated from college on Friday. We have such hopes and dreams for him, but they may not be the same dreams that he has. We love him and are proud of who he is, and I know we'll have to be supportive of him as he starts this new chapter of his life.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and a belated Happy Mother's Day to you!

Denise at Forest Manor

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Amen Laura! I applaud you in your parenting and I love the way you expressed that as parents we do the best we can and then let them go! Oh but the letting go has to be so hard! I'm not quite there yet but as fleeting as these years are I soon will be!

Liz Hockamier said...

Oh Man! How did I miss this post?

Thank you! Everything you said is so true!

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day! :)

~Liz