The chase of perfection

becca-and-scrappyLast week I discussed the quest for perfection. Now I had intended to answer some of my own questions about this subject and reflect on how much I have improved in this area of my life. But then came the past seven days and suddenly I am looking at this insatiable need in me and I am beginning to understand it just a little more clearly.

I am a mother to two fantastic daughters. One is in her first year of college and the other is getting married in a few short weeks. The wedding is a big deal; out of town guests, showers, many hours planning and making bouquets and center pieces, stretching dollars till they break and so much more. In the middle of this chaos I also have two dogs whom I love. One is aging much quicker than I want and another who is my youngest daughter’s best buddy has been sick off and on the past few years but there is a surgery to fix the problem and he should be all better…or so we thought.

Last week I got him groomed and all ready to meet with the surgeon and get things taken care of. Then comes the bad news. It will cost many thousands to try to fix his problem. Secondly, there is only about a 50% chance it will even work. Now as I said I am a single mother with one getting married and another in college. I am wearing shoes with holes and stretching pennies in more ways than I can count. There is no option here. I just cannot do it.

So now this mother who wants everything to be wonderful for my children has to tell my tender-hearted, loving child that I have to put her dog down. His condition is deteriorating and he is often in severe pain and it breaks my heart listening to his cries. The only thing worse right now is seeing the pain in my daughter as she faces this realization.

I just wish so much that I was perfect. Not for myself. Not for the accolades. Not for any legacy or pat on the back. I simply wish I was perfect so I could make my daughters’ lives perfect.

As parents we want the best for our children but we know it is impossible and often those hardships bring growth and maturity for them. But sometimes, no matter how old they are, they are still our babies and we just want to dry their tears and make things perfect.

But we can’t.

 

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Skinned Knees & Broken Hearts

The Heartache of Parenting

My daughter called me today crying. I had to tell her I could not come over and hold her and make everything better. All I could do was listen. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

As a mother we always want to be able to at least comfort our children when they are hurting if we can’t make things better. But after almost 22 years, my baby girl has now moved across the state and where once I could wrap my arms around her and hold her close to calm her fears, now I only have a cold, lifeless phone to cross the distance and soothe the pain. 

Being a Mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had…and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.

When our children are young life seems so big and dangerous, skinned knees, hot stoves, falling off chairs. But then as they grow older we realize how safe that time was and how we wish so desperately to go back to that simpler place. Oh how often I would kiss the boo boos and say “OK, now it’s all better.” And away they would go to tackle their next adventure. But now when my child hurts, it is often more a pain of the heart and I cannot seem to find a band-aid to fix that.

It is true; a parent feels the pain of their child. I do not know if it is because nothing is really new and we remember how we too had our hearts broken or lost that new job or is it much more? Once you become a parent, whether by birth or adoption or however that child came into your life they become a part of you. Suddenly our needs drop down the ladder. Those new shoes you have been looking at quickly become insignificant when you are looking at new bats for your favorite softball player.

God gives us many blessing but none so sweet and yet so painful as that of being a parent. But for all the pain, the grief, the skinned knees, the calls at 3 am, the broken hearts and banged up fenders I would not change a thing. Except to be able to hold them and wipe the tears away whenever they needed me.

Image: https://goo.gl/images/cyDKDJ

Mother Plus…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • A Doctor?
  • A Nurse?
  • An Astronaut?

We all had childhood dreams and ambitions. Did yours come true? I often struggled with this question. My mother, who was widowed at forty-seven, always told me to have a career. Whatever else I did, I need to make sure and have a career to support me. But I didn’t want that. I got good grades was accepted to Loyola University, but never went.

I longed for something else. I wanted a family. I wanted to be a wife and mommy. The problem was there were no ads in the classifieds, no courses at the local college for such a position. So I whittled some years away working at the local mall and hanging out with friends till I met the man I wanted to marry. Some years later we had that family. Two beautiful daughters, the house with the white picket fence (yes, it really had one), dogs, cats, rabbits and a minivan to complete the picture.

I was happy. I had found my calling. I homeschooled the girls into high school, volunteered at church, worked occasionally part-time and spent many blissful hours in my gardens where I sowed vegetables, foxgloves, daisies, and whatever other flower I could get my hands on. Life was good and I was satisfied.

But suddenly something went wrong and now after all these years; I am a fifty year old divorced woman who is now an empty nester. As both girls are launching their own lives who do I take care of now?

Me! That’s who. I absolutely loved my old life and aside from a few rocky years during the divorce I still love it. But now it is time to take care of myself and find out what God has planned for my next chapter. I am and always will be a mother but now I can be a mother plus (always a mother but so much more). The last few years have given me cause for alot of prayer and soul-serching. Now, not only can I say that I am satisfied, but I am eager-eager to see where this leads, eager to experience new adventures, eager to discover the world and myself.

Someone once said you can’t be truly happy in life until you are happy with yourself. I believe that. We all have our quirks and bad habits but we all have gifts too. Life is learning how to take those gifts and make them meaningful. For a while it was raising my daughters. Now it is writing and exploring all about me.  It is time for my plus life. 

As long as you are breathing, you have time to find your gift. What is your gift? What is your plus?