This week before Mother's Day seems to be the perfect time to remind all of us of the important role mothers play in our lives. This isn't to say we discount anyone else...in fact, many of us have a variety of moms in all kinds of places. Or memories of moms in all kinds of places.
For me, I have three wonderful, grown children now. I simply cannot imagine my life without them. In my 'mom's mind' they are still young, impressionable and filled with wonder at all of the new things they are learning about. I cannot seem to shake the feeling of being a mom means your kids are little and you still take care of them in ways, well in ways only a mom can! But then I look at them all grown up and I realize I can now reap the benefits of those tender young years and enjoy who they have become as adults. Some things with my guidance and some things without.
It is different now as I parent. I have had to remind myself of things I hope I have taught my children. Listen. Hear what is being said and pay attention. Don't just wait for someone to stop talking so you can begin yours. Offer support but not always solutions. Mind your own business unless harmful to self or to others. Sometimes things are really just none of my business (insert heavy sigh). Offer suggestions, not absolutes. There are many ways to get things done and each has value. Work together by seeing each others strengths and appreciate seeing those strengths in each other. Be mindful and patient. Not everything I want to happen will. And those things that are happening might take longer than I want. But the truth is, it really has never been about me.
Raising children is about letting go and allowing them to become the people that best suits them. Becoming a parent starts out as something that directly came from wanting to be a mom, but quickly changes into loving someone so much that I need to allow them the ability to become who they are...not who I think they are. I need to allow the dance of knowing how to guide them and allowing them the freedom to explore to take place. I am reminded of a saying that while I cannot remember each word, it includes giving our children roots and wings. Roots to know where they come from and can always come back to. And wings to explore all that is available for them. Sometimes I wanted an invisible string attached to their wings...just in case.
So this Mother's Day I will continue to learn how to be a mom to adult children. I will see them for who they are and for all that is to come. But most of all, I will celebrate the great joy I have in knowing I was given three gifts. Three gifts to share with the world. How lucky am I?!