Wait a Minute! This is Not What I Signed Up For!

If you would have told me when I first got pregnant the path I would be walking today, I may have run away screaming. I looked at motherhood, both as exciting and terrifying. Midnight feedings, colic, terrible twos, followed by temperamental threes, potty training...that was a cake walk. Parenting adults, not so much.

When our children are small, we have some amount of control. We can control their environment, when they eat, who they play with, where they go and so on. As they get older we begin to expand the boundaries. They go off to school, or in my case we homeschooled, and we begin to allow them more freedom. They go to their friends' homes, with our knowledge of the family they are hanging around with. We try to help them make good choices, take them to church, limit their choices of music and movies, while still allowing them to broaden their understanding of the world. 

Of course, then puberty hits and all chaos breaks loose. We find ourselves reeling from the increasing lack of control we have. Their social circles broaden and suddenly we are left out. We don't know who all of their friends are and we don't always know where they are. We blink our eyes and they are graduating from high school and off to college. Wait a minute! What just happened? Could we go back to when they were small? There are some things I would like to do over.

You might be asking yourself some of the same questions I have asked, "How did we get here? Where did I mess up? When did I go from 'Mommy' to 'chopped liver'? I understand. I have two adult daughters. They have both gone through difficulties, some by their own choosing and some heaped upon them by others. As mothers we hurt...gosh I have hurt...when my daughter's fiancee asked for the ring back; when my other daughter told us she was pregnant...and there is more, so much pain. And perhaps the hardest part as a mom is not being able to do anything; not take the pain away, not heal the hurt, not change the past. I have no control. I am powerless. Or at least, that is how it feels at times.

The truth, dear ones, is that you, as a mom, have the greatest power in the universe....the capacity to love. God gave women this very special ability to love. So even though your relationship with your children changes and you can't keep them from making bad choices or having harmful things happen to them, you can still love them. Day in, day out. And for some, that and prayer are the best chance your child has.

So each day I make a conscious choice to try to mirror Jesus. To love as He would love, give help when it is needed and withhold words when they are not wanted (sometimes the hardest thing to do). I love my adult children just as much as when I first saw their little faces, it is just different and that is okay.

Rachel and Rebecca ready for Halloween 2012.

Rachel and Rebecca ready for Halloween 2012.