Is it not a mother’s job to protect her children no matter what? I say no.
There comes a time, when we need to allow the disappointments, the judgements, the unfair accusations. Allow the difficulties in life to wreck havoc on our children’s hearts, breaking them, wide open, so that it may put itself back together with insight, understanding and maturity.
It is truly the job of a mother to step aside, and allow life to slowly, or swiftly do its damage. For a life filled with receiving only beautifully wrapped offerings, teaching nothing. The passing over for a job, rejection by a crush, loss of a leadership position – all of these occurrences are gifts in disguise, and are there for good. They are messages letting us know, we are knocking on the wrong door. That we are stronger than we know.
Our children need to receive these messages, more than we need to save them from experiencing them. We spend our years praying and hoping that only good fortune is dropped at their doorstep. We feed, clothe, nourish and teach our children, but we don’t let go. And so our children do what they can to help us. They push us away. They say no. Stop. It is enough. During adolescents, they engage with us like fighters, turning against us, challenging our authority. And suddenly, we feel as if our children are crazy, and know nothing about life. And yet, they are wiser than us.
Our children want to invite the challenges, the hurt ,that can only help them in the best way possible. They invite those nuances and challenges into their lives, as if they are welcome. Because they are. They are the doorway to everything we have always wanted for our children.
As mothers, with all that we do, the most profound act is to guide, allow and wait with an outstretched hand when our children need help getting back on their feet. For to control, change, alter the outcome of life will only set them back They need to navigate storms, and be able to call upon the life jackets that we, as mothers, have sewn into the seem of their minds and hearts. Calling upon our love, not if, but when life happens.
We, as mothers, have survived our own hurricanes. Had we not had to buckle down and do what we can to protect ourselves while the storm damages all that is in her path? Are we not stronger, smarter, more aware because of the rain that pelted us relentlessly? And is it not time for us to release our children from our grip. To allow them to take their hard knocks because that is what we signed on for; and at the very least, that is part of life. To allow their disappointments to become gifts.
As hard as it is, we need be the stump that our children learn upon for support, or just to rest. We no longer are The Giving Tree that feeds them with apples, or shades them with our branches. We are not the trunk that provides them with the vessel to go off to far away places. We are still useful, but must be not get in the way. For we are doing more harm than good when we reach in and try to change the outcome; to pull them out of their wold.
For each disappointment, argument, break up, rejection is but a death of what was, and an opening into a future of everything we have ever wanted for our child. We just need to cut the cord – again. We do it when our children are born, and must do it when they emerge as adolescents with their hearts wide open, ready to break. And in the place of the cord, we connect through letting go, a stronger and more resilient bond that lasts forever.
It is time to let go.