Sunday, May 13, 2012

Forever, My Babies

I logged on to Facebook this morning, which I do most mornings as I sip on my first cup of coffee. It keeps me up-to-date with what's going on in my friends' worlds, and what's important to them. This morning, the overwhelming theme of Mother's Day ruled on Facebook. There were nostalgic posts, sweet posts, funny posts, and even some sad posts, as many remembered mothers no longer among us.

One post that really touched my heart was posted by Kathy Rhodes, adapted from her friend, Susie Dunham, and now further adapted by me.  

"These are two people who can make me laugh the hardest and cry the deepest sobs my heart can push out. My job is never done. Ever. For that I am grateful to God (and Larry) for giving me these people to love."

It's true. These two smiling young adults are forever my babies, and no one can make me happier, prouder, more full of love, and no one can make me cry harder or hurt more than they sometimes do. It's both the blessing and the curse of motherhood.

My friend, Susan Cushman, reminded me of a quote by Elizabeth Stone in her blog yesterday:

“Making the decision to have a child—it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

At 29 and 23, Nicole and Joe are teetering on the edge between dependence and independence. I heard once that our job as parents is to raise ADULTS, not children. The first time around, I found it easy to let Nicole go...she had studied abroad in France, graduated from college, apprenticed at theatres in Massachusetts and when she moved to New York, I felt she was ready. But more importantly, I felt I was ready to let her go. 

Now I'm having to let go of Nicole all over again. After her accident, she was totally dependent on me. She has worked so hard to step-by-step regain the use of her body which would eventually lead her to be less and less dependent on me or anyone else. She's almost there, yet for me, letting go is much harder this time than it was the first. For one thing, I've gotten to know Nicole as the young woman she's become and I've enjoyed her company. I've watched her blossom into an outstanding speaker, using the theatre training she got in college and her unbelievable accident to touch lives and inspire people. I couldn't be more proud.

And then there's Joe. My late bloomer. I wondered if I'd ever have the opportunity to let him go. But I've watched him mature and get more serious about what he wants out of life. He's trying to figure out how to go to Millsaps this fall to major in business, and I believe he'll do it. Joe's always been so much smarter than he's ever given himself credit for being. I can see that he's using his intelligence in a positive way, and that makes my heart soar. 

This Mother's Day, I'll go visit my own mother in Baptist Hospital where she's on her third tour of duty since February. Celebrate where you are! It's something we are all really good at doing.

Tonight, I'll go to the movies with Larry and my babies. I'll have to really concentrate on what's on the screen, as my thoughts will likely be running from one "baby" to the other, remembering their lives so far, and dreaming about what the future may hold for them. 

Happy Mother's Day! 
Blessings to all who read this...