I embrace the stages that our daughters have experienced, from the moment that they entered this world. From infancy and toddler years into teen drama and young adult challenges that faced them as they grew. Every stage of motherhood has its trials, disappointments and rewards, but in the end we discover that through it all, a mother’s love is selfless to the end.
There is nothing more rewarding than carrying life within you with the ability to hold that precious life in your arms for the very first time. Each birth took my breath away as I admired the gift of perfection that God so delicately developed inside. Their cries of distress, as they were monitored and check, caused me a deep craving to hold them close, knowing that love was what they needed in order to calm them down.
Time has passed as I remember their growth. From falls, bumps and bruises, to biting, tempers and hugging. Times we played, baked, and crafted with times of dancing and cuddling. We shared many moments of laughter and giggling that would bring us to tears, sometimes without even knowing why. These are all memories that for a mom that are not so easily forgotten. No matter what we did, the tears we shed or how often that we hugged, we all grew and learned together, providing memories and traditions that they will treasure in their hearts.
Having to say “no” when you wanted to give them the world, was hard and painful as I watched tears of disappointment. Eventually they learned that not all things were needed, and yet when there was a need, they saw how we compromised. I didn’t realize how much of an impact it made on our daughters or if they even noticed. Then one day, as they each got older with educated eyes, I got a call from each of them that said “Thank you mom for teaching me…” They shared their appreciation in learning the value of a dollar and what it meant to work hard.
All children go through stages, with the hardest when they are discovering who they are. We see it as rebellion, but in reality they are absorbing all that they have learned. From their faith and family values to what they experience on their own. They are discovering their own strengths and weaknesses while creating their own values. They desire to make it on their own while wanting to make their parents proud. Despite our best efforts to provide them warnings, based on our own mistakes in life, our daughters each shared they wanted to experience it on their own. Needing to let go and allowing them to fly, shows them that we love them, and unless they experience it, they might not understand why. Eventually this stage ends, and they become their own person who they can honor and respect. At this point they see us still as the same loving parents, still proud of whom they are.
For me as a mom, as each daughter took to spreading her wings, I wanted to run after them to make sure they didn’t fall. In order to let them become women of strength and beauty, I had to believe I guided them in all the right ways. I needed to let go so that they could fly. As when birds lose their feathers and their flight to their destination becomes crippled, I accepted that I couldn’t hamper their path in life.
The part I love the best, is that despite the rough patches in life, I now get the calls that ask me for advice. This past week I’ve spent hours on the phone with our oldest daughter, trying not to give her answers to a few complicated decisions she faced. I asked her different questions in hopes it would spark a decision. I couldn’t give her answers as she needed to decide on her own. My heart strings go the distant, as I would abruptly wake in the morning knowing what she needed to do, yet I couldn’t call and tell her as it wasn’t my decision to make. As she made the first hard decision, one could hear the delight in her voice as she shared the results that transpired. The second decision was harder with my suggestion of checking a few things out. I was told it wouldn’t work. After researching what I shared followed with her making a call, she called back with her anxiety averted. After last night’s call, when her stress had subsided, I giggled as I asked her “Are you not glad you called your mom?” She laughed and said she was and glad I suggested the advice.
There are many stages of motherhood starting out with joy. What happens in the middle, with a variation of events and emotions, develops the child as well as the mom, into something so beautiful it’s hard to describe. As much as I would have loved more children to nurture and hug, I’m so honored and blessed with the girls that we have. They have filled my heart to capacity. Not a moment goes by that I am not proud of them, and everyday my love for them grows fonder and stronger with more intensity. I feel pain when they struggle, wanting to protect them from life, and yet I enjoy celebrating with them the accomplishments they make. I pray that there are many more years in front of me, to watch and continue to experience the beautiful young ladies they have become and as they begin new families of their own.