Yesterday was a great day. I felt loved, a little spoiled, immersed in a favorite past-time, and eventually, a little guilty. However, the party is over and today is another story entirely. On the morning following a celebration of the role I cherish most, I feel spent and sad and exhausted. Lost homework turned into WW III, big changes have presented new and confusing challenges, this might be the busiest week of life so far, and Mom exploded on the (late) ride to school.
None of the concerns that I loudly voiced on the way to school were incorrect. Everything was something that needed to be said. My kids are getting older and even though they fight it, sometimes they have no choice but to rise to the challenges that face them. If they can, I've done my job.
And I know that they will. That somehow, just when they think they can't, they'll realize they can. That they had the power all along, right inside. It's my responsibility to make sure they discover that inner power as soon as possible and help them harness it to use in whatever way their dreams lead. So, sometimes I'm tough and tell them what they need to know, once again, because it hasn't sunk in quite yet.
Then they hop from the car, obviously tired of my words, possibly feeling their sting just a bit. As I watch their tiny (and huge at the same time) bodies walk away and into the world, my heart falls deep, deep down into a place I hate to go. Why do I ever yell at them ever? I just love them so much it hurts. Literally.
I can't imagine growing up in the world that they face. Technology and its implications beyond imagination, more pressure to succeed than ever, and growing requirements and expectations at every turn, are just some of the things they face. And they're just little kids. Kids who, more than anything else in the whole wide world, I just want to be happy.
I know that I'm good at this job, most of the time. And I'm human, so I have to forgive myself the mistakes I make, just as I forgive my kids. I mean, how can we improve if we never falter? So here's to falling, getting back up and being better than you were before. Every single day.
Interested in some past Mother's Day posts? Here are a few:
Just in Time for Mother's Day
Mother's Day Breakfast
Mother's Day 2009