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.
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.
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