My child, no matter the age.

My child, no matter the age.

BabiesWhen he was little it was easier.  Even the nights when his little body was limp, his skin red and burning with fever and I was running on little to no sleep as I kept vigil by his bed, those nights were easier than this.   I felt helpless then but at least I was able to hold him, catching what rest I could as I monitored his sleep, counting each breath through the night.  Helpless because I couldn’t control the virus that had found it’s way into my little boy’s system.  Helpless, because I could sometimes ease his discomfort, but I couldn’t cure him.  Wanting desperately to take his place, I was helpless but I was in charge.

As his momma, I decided if he went to the doctor, if he took his medicine, if he stayed in bed, or if he went outside.  I could take his temperature, apply cool cloths to his forehead, fix ginger ale with crushed ice, make chicken soup with noodles, and make certain his favorite movies were available on the VCR.  Back then when he was sick, I would put him in his bed and he stayed there until I felt he was well enough to move around in the world again.

It gave me some sort of peace to know that I was responsible for seeing that his meals were balanced and his vitamins were consumed.  If he did fall to the random virus or stomach bug, most times I could pinpoint where and when he was exposed.  I could call another mom and ask details like how many days the virus lasted for their child and what medications worked best.  There was an odd comfort in believing that I knew the source of his illnesses, as if that information alone helped to lessen the severity and shorten the time he was sick.

But now it’s different.  Now I don’t know where the viruses come from and there are no other moms to consult.  He lives six hours away with a life I know only through phone calls and text messages.  He’s a young man in charge of himself and I feel helpless, helpless and not in control.   I can suggest but I can’t decide.  I see dark circles around his huckleberry blue eyes, and motherly instinct screams, “Your baby is sick.  Take care of him.”   I suggest a visit to the doctor but he doesn’t have time so I give him more ibuprophen to mask the pain in his throat and make him promise to go to Health Services if he doesn’t feel better tomorrow.  I suggest he take a nutritional supplement back to school with him but he doesn’t have a refrigerator or time to buy one so I offer to pay but he refuses.   I can only do as much as he will allow and then I have to step back and let him go.

It’s harder now.  When he was little, I could comfort him and that in turn comforted me.  Now I can only sit and wait, sending healing energy across the miles and surrounding him with light.

Another Lesson Learned

With so many things that matter in life, politics, religion, stereotypes, and love, I have learned the most from my children.  It is when they ask questions that I am afforded the opportunity to evaluate, ponder, and reconsider what I believe to be true.


In my twenties, before I became a mother, I knew all the answers.  Now in my forties, I realize I am only beginning to know anything at all and they come to me for advice.  They need the wisdom that, in their innocence, they believe I must possess.  And just like I felt the need to reassure them there were no monsters under their beds, I feel the need to reassure them as they struggle through the growing pains of life.  Carefully I choose my words, sharing the experiences that have shaped me.  All the while hoping and praying that the pains I have endured will provide lessons for my children, thereby sparing them the same.  I listen as they share with me their fears, frustrations, and heart-breaks.  Every ounce of my soul begs to spare them this part of life’s journey.


From my vantage point, it’s easy to see what they should do, how they should behave, the choices they should make.  I’ve made these mistakes.  I’ve had these feelings.  I’ve been there.  I know.


I speak to them of unconditional love, of the feeling in your gut that comes when your soul finds it’s mate.  I relate the irrelevance of words and the all important power of instinctual feelings, the Knowing when something is right and the trust required to listen when that happens.  I explain that when you find that someone, nothing can be said or done to change that feeling and likewise, if that feeling isn’t there, nothing can be said or done to create it.


I speak to them of learning to sit with their Self, to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, of learning to stop resisting what Is and accept life in the moment without expectation.  Life isn’t black or white.  Life happens in the grey area.  It’s okay not to know all the answers.  It’s okay to feel sadness.  To go through it and come out on the other side is one of life’s greatest gifts.


I need to take my own advice.  To sit in this moment with no expectation, watching my children stumble, catch themselves, fall and get back up, all the while developing their balance, learning to trust their instinct.  All the while resisting the urge to hold them up.

Just as all the talking and explaining in the world couldn’t teach them to walk.  They had to experience the bumps and falls on their own.  My words now are empty without their own life experience to provide the background for understanding.