Being a mother of eight children has prepared me for almost any motherhood situation. Spills, broken furniture, broken arms. Most days I feel as though I have become prophetic.. “No running in the house. You are going to get hurt” is heard by all just before the bang and the crying. How did I know? Because it has happened so many times before. I have over 40 years of life experience and I was convinced no one could throw me a curve ball.
And then it happened…
Our oldest grew up. He went to college and moved out of state. I wasn’t ready. How did this happen? How am I surprised that this day arrived? Now our daughter is getting ready to do the same and I know how it felt the first time. I have to do this eight times? It broke my heart to see him go. I am trying to remember that the very fact that they are moving on to college and don’t need me anymore means we did a good job. That’s comforting right? Wrong.
|Austin - 8 years|
|Austin - 18 years|
I was listening to a church sermon the other day that talked about how God lets you experience challenges in your life so that when the next challenge happens, you can manage it better. I know that in theory, this is probably true. I am dreading the very next time I have to let my child leave our family home to pursue the dream of adulthood. But it is going to happen and there is nothing I can do to stop time.
I remember when my daughter was a baby and really sick for the first time.. It was the first time I was truly concerned about her and I felt helpless. I held her and sang to her. I put cool cloths on her forehead and I watched her while she slept. I did this until her fever broke and she was back to herself. She does not remember this, but I do and I always will. It was the moment in my life when I realized the thing I want most is for my child to be healthy and happy and it was possible that I couldn’t prevent my child from experiencing pain. I may not be able to always keep her from being sick, but I could comfort her and watch over her. When she leaves home, I won’t be able to do this. I won’t be able to take care of her.
|Peyton - 7 years|
|Peyton - 17 years|
I know she doesn't remember the first time she was so sick, but I also know that she felt and feels loved by me. She will take this with her when she goes. Because of this, I know that no matter how far she goes, I will always be with her. All of the bruises, tears, broken bones, and skinned knees; they prepared my kids for the new challenges they will face as adults. They prepared me to allow them to go through these challenges without being overrun with worry and fear.
My kids have aspirations to be successful. I helped shape them this way. I will be proud no matter what they become in life. As much as I want to keep them safe forever near me, I know my job is done when they leave. I have a new job with less responsibility. I am an adviser, counselor, friend and mother. I am no longer the doctor, cook, maid and banker…wait, that sounds pretty good! Just like every new stage-from infant to toddler, from toddler to child, child to adolescent; becoming a young adult will become my new favorite stage for each of my children when they get there. I am not sure if I am ready, but ready or not here it is. I will do my best to learn this new role and be the best I can be. I can only hope that my kids and my husband are patient with me while I slowly let go. I have eight beautiful children and I am truly blessed to watch them grow and blossom. I am honored to have been given the gift of being their mother and the world is blessed as they move on to be valuable contributors to this planet we call home. I will always be here for you, my loves. Even if you don’t need me quite as much as you used to.