The wonderful part about being a mom is that you always feel needed. There isn’t a day (or a moment) that goes by that I don’t feel that I am needed. It’s a blessing, to have people that depend on you because then you have the joy of feeding them or helping them with whatever it is that they need. It’s not something that everyone gets to do. I have to remind myself of this on especially busy days, but overall I don’t take it for granted. They say that the children grow up, and move away– and it’s true….even though that frightens me to no end- I do treasure the times I get with my kids as they are becoming adults and teens and having more of a social life. It’s so funny because when the kids were all little, I would have people tell me all the time, “Just wait until their teenagers!” As if I was having too much fun with the little ones and they wanted to appropriately warn me of what horrors were to come! HA!! Boy were they wrong- my teens are the light of my life. Truly. I see in them brilliant people with hearts for God, with hearts of gold- and I’m tempted to take credit for their awesomeness, when really what is so wonderful about it is that they are becoming more and more themselves! It’s an incredible privilege to witness their spiritual awareness, their friendships growing and deepening, the inspiration they take out of the world. And not to mention their physical prowess-OY!
The interesting thing I am experiencing at this stage of parenthood- with one foot in babyhood fading with the two-year-old, and a grown-up moved-in-with-girlfriend totally independent son, and then the inbetweeners- is it’s a practice in gratitude. I am thankful for the littles and the funny things they say, and I am thankful for the articulate elders who can make me feel so amazed and humbled at their own intelligent and deep thoughts and observations.
I am not sure if the feelings that I have been experiencing are normal or not, but there is a general haunting feeling of “hold on tight” right now, I so don’t want to forget to treasure the fleeting moments when the kids do things for the first time, or actually need me just a little bit longer. Now that the big boy is off in the world, it makes it all so raw and fresh: this will continue to happen! They will keep getting older and move on. It makes me sad and incredibly nostalgic and hopeful all at the same time. If the kids we are pouring ourselves into move out and go and do the things that God is calling them to–watch out world! Here comes a generation of kids who want to please God, and help others in a way that perhaps no other generation had the ability to do. It’s pretty incredible the reach that our kids have now with access to the entire world via the internet!
Thank you for hearing my awakenings, and thank you for sharing yours. Any moms out there with grown children who have and tips or pointers?
I had the privilege of hearing Barbara Morgan speak again a few nights ago, and was again profoundly touched by her wisdom. One of the parents had asked this question: Aiming heavenward with our children, with earthly tasks at hand (future careers, household chores, etc), how do we/should we try to do it all???
I loved Barabara’s response because unlike me, who often ends her day in a puddle of glee/crazy overwhelmed, unequipped to really know how to do any of the things I’m doing, including homeschooling!!! She said: “homeschool families are already making an effort to raise their children Catholic. The tiny babies who are full of sanctifying grace- will one day get to the point where they can choose sin- and they will! Everybody has a sin problem! It’s our job as parents to teach them how to repent to one another, and use the tools that we have (like the Sacrament of Confession) to deal with this sandpaper ministry we are involved in!” I think it’s really important to talk about this because I know some of you are really struggling with your kids for different reasons. Barbara was really encouraging and focused on how as parents we need to repent to one another in front of the kids, and to really make an effort to KNOW each and every child that GOD blesses us with. What are their interests? Have their interests become OUR interests? They should. We need to be trying to encourage them by using the things we know they’re into. I was really humbled by that. I’m not a big sports girl- but my husband LOVES LOVES LOVES sports…. and I just tune it out or attempt to push it aside, she said during her talk that she knew there was a really imortant basketball game on that evening because she makes it a point to be into what her husband is into, also! That really convicted me to try harder to be into the stuff my family is into, even if it’s not something I naturally lean towards. Barabara, thank you for sharing this, and one last thing she said: ” You can’t do everything that it would have been good to do for each child! But God is going to honor what you put into them, and they will turn out bigger and better than you ever could have imagined.” That was a relief to me, and I hope to you also- God will honor our efforts, and even though it isn’t going to be perfect, he will bless it!! Amen!!