Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. I've been a mom now for 17 years, and today I am struck with the absurd realization that in a year, my oldest will be off to college. How is that possible? How could it be? It seems like such a short time ago that we were picking her up at our lawyers office - we strained to see her from the third floor to the parking spot, where the van in which she was riding was attempting to park. The breathless anticipation and waiting as the elevator crept ever so slowly, stopping for what seemed like hours at each floor. Then, there she was. This tiny little pink bundle with grey-blue eyes peering out, and the lawyer saying "Would you like to hold your daughter, Mom"? Mom. . . what music to my ears, how I had longed to hear somebody call me mom for so long. And here is this beautiful little girl, staring at me intently, who now had a Mom and that was ME. I cradled her in my arms, and she sighed and snuggled, and closed her eyes. My eyes were blurry from the tears, but my hear was just bursting with love, gratitude, happiness, joy. . . and fear that somehow I would mess up somewhere along the way in my new role as a mom.

Fast forward 17 years later. She's a gorgeous 17 year old, smart and kind, silly and yet serious. A very determined young lady with plans for her future. Have I messed up? In some ways, yes, I have. There are times when I could have played longer, or been more patient, or laughed more. But in other ways, when I look into my daughter's eyes and I see my love shining there, I know that I did what God intended for me to do. I have been my kid's mom - I have said "no" when I was supposed to, talked to her about tough moral issues even when it was painful, and nursed her during her hospitalizations with Lupus. I have provided her with a strong foundation from which she'll be able to walk on when she leaves this place next year.

Last night was her prom. She looked so pretty, so elegant, so happy. She's had a very rough year, and it was important that she was able to finally do something that all "normal" kids do. This prom, to me, was a very significant milestone in her life. It was where I trusted her enought to let her go, to make her own decisions, and to come back to me with her excited chatter about all that happened last night. She is no longer that preciious little pink bundle I held 17 years ago. Now, she is a precious young woman which I will ALWAYS continue to hold in my heart, forever. . .

And her sister, who is 14, will always be "the baby". This youngest member of the family just kind of breezed into our family one day, and we fell in love with the brown hair and brown eyes and beautiful smile. The "baby" has always been "Miss Independence" - not much of a snuggler (unless you were reading her a book), doesn't talk much (in direct contrast with her chatter-box sister), and her favorite phrase is "I know, Mom". She is facing her own milestone this fall as she starts high school in a very large Catholic school (she's used to very small class sizes). This will provide her with more diversity, opportunites, and chances to get in trouble. . . I mean, to meet new people. While her sister made parenting rewarding, this one has made parenting challenging - and for that, I am eternally grateful! I have had to learn flexibility, thanks to her. I have had to "think quick", and stay focused and logical in disagreements. I have had to alter my inherent nurturing style of parenting into a more creative and exciting "intense" style. Two different kids, the same mom, and twenty million ways to present new ways of getting them to eat their vegetables!

Through it all, I have cherished these kids that God brought into my life. I honestly believe I was chosen to be their mom for some unknown reason, and for that I am so very honored and greatful. I love being "my kid's mom" - and it is a title I will wear forever.

I also miss my own mom today, who has been gone from my life for 37 years. I didn't get to know her at the level in which my kids know me, for my mom rarely let me glimpse into her soul . We didn't have "talks" per sae - where we each shared a little bit about ourselves and our thoughts and feelings. Nonetheless, I still remember totally loving her, respecting her, and wishing she could have stuck around longer to meet my girls. I look at my 14 year old now, and realize that I was her age when my Mom died. I don't think my 14 year old, or even my 17 year old, could survive without me in some respects. Yet, I know that they are strong young ladies, so I think they will do just fine as they head out on their own.

And tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of my dad's death, followed by my 51st birthday on the 10th.

May is the month of many milestones in my life.


At 9:50 PM, Blogger Claw said...

You have been, are and always will be our kids mom. I couldn't think of a better mom for our kids than you.

Love, Our Kids Dad.


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