A Word About Motherhood; The Unknown Road

Twenty years ago today, I became a mother for the first time. The journey of motherhood hasn't been anything I expected and certainly hasn't been anything I could have prepared for. Minus the diapering and feeding and daily care, making decisions to work or not work, almost everything else has come as a surprise. Shock even maybe. Even with all the great advice I received, there were still things so joyous, so sorrowful, so confusing and so perfect. Nothing can prepare you for that with children. Little pieces of my heart out in the big bad world fending for themselves. There will always be an ache from that, till the day I take my last breath.

As happy and fulfilled as I am as a mom, the emotion  from that ache can threaten to take me down at times. When I look at my adult son, I still see the little boy trying to go as fast as he can on his scooter, always with a huge smile on his face. Not much has changed, except I can't protect him anymore, from himself or anyone else. The passing of time means something so different now as I move out of mommy-dom and into parenting only teens and young adults. We are at the other end of the spectrum and it feels, well, WEIRD. Melancholy and bittersweet mixed with anticipation and so much love my heart could burst. 

This year 2020, represents a new decade of change. The last decade was a crazy time full of memories, some that still break my heart and take my breath away, and lots and lots of GROWING. My kids went from babies to teens in the blink of an eye. My husband and I got to know each other better. I made the best of friends. We lost some precious loved ones and found out what it meant to be taken down by illness and then to pick ourselves up again. We grew to love Jesus on a deeper level and discovered what the definition of being on your knees really means. It was all in preparation for now. Our kids moving in to young adulthood and moving further out of our control. They can pretty much go where they want and they have jobs and things that they do on their own. They have friends that I don't know and they spend most of their days away without me there to make sure they are eating right and using their manners. I have to trust more and more each year that they are implementing the things they learned while completely dependent on us and that they are kind, considerate, discerning, and trying hard in all they do.

I read a quote about motherhood from Kelly Corrigan that struck me:

"I am your mother, the first mile of your road. Me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. That means in addition to possibly wrecking you, I have the chance to give you what was given to me. A decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of a tribe, a run at happiness. You can't imagine how seriously I take that, even as I fail you.Mothering you is the first thing of consequence that I have ever done."


And as we move into the new realm of the unknown, meeting the adults our children are becoming, it gives me a great sense of relief knowing that I took the job of mothering them seriously, and now I take seriously the job of stepping back and letting them move on without me. As painful as it is, I am excited to get to know them as the people God has designed them to be. Its facinating to sit back and watch. And although the control freak in me YEARNS to jump in and save and rescue and protect, I know that these humans I helped to create are on a path to great things and my job description is changing. I'm okay with that...mostly.

Happy 20th birthday Jake. I love you.


Holly and Jenn

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