Hello, Thursday Morning friends! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed Mother’s Day weekend.
There is a truth that mothers know—one among many, of course. We learn wisdom over the years as we rear our children and help tend our grandchildren.
While going through the early years, time seems to move at a snail’s pace. These were the years when I felt as though the long days would never end. Mothers often get up early and stay up late, up all hours, trying to be the best possible mother.
In the natural passage of time, we graduate into moms of school-age children. While the nights settle a little, with the exception of nocturnal illnesses, we’ve now become shuttle-drivers. If we work full-time, we have to keep to a tight schedule to incorporate after-school activities, church activities, and sports. This level of mothering can be almost as rigorous as the early years.
Then one day, it ends.
We’re standing in a large room watching that child we raised graduate from high school. We’ve spent long hours agonizing over finances, helping our college-bound child decide on the best venue. Others of us will send that child off to boot camp for the next level of training. Either way, we say goodbye.
The truth is, those years that seemed so long as we were passing through them…aren’t. They’re very short in the long view. When we’re on the other side looking back, we can see that. I’m reminded of a poignant scene in one of my favorite stories, the British mini-series, “North and South.”
The scene is desolate. Everything is gray, and snow is falling. John Thornton is watching as the woman he desperately loves prepares to leave him. As she climbs into the coach, he mutters, “Look back. Look back at me.” But she doesn’t look. Her eyes are on the road ahead.
This is a difficult time for some of us, as parents of children who are joyfully moving on to the next level. They’re excited about what the future holds. We see empty rooms and quiet houses. Which can be a wondrous thing, depending on your perspective.
Whether it’s a road well traveled or not, is entirely up to us. Until it’s not. When we’ve reached our child’s late teen years, or maybe their early twenties, we realize just how much it’s not. At a point unrealized by me, the child I birthed and loved and raised, has taken over the reins.
I suppose that’s one of the deepest truths I’ve learned along the way. No matter how much I might want to help them avoid the potholes, they really want to do their own thing, even if it means making their own mistakes.
I’m standing on the stoop, watching as they pull away. “Look back,” I whisper, “look back at me.”
And they do, with waves and smiles. Then they turn toward their destination while I return to a quiet house. I’ve come to love and cherish the silence, but oh, how I’ve loved the chaos.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22: ESV