I rolled my eyes in secret.
“One day you will understand”…. it was the phrase she used frequently.
I dismissed it.
“This hurts me worse than it does you”…. she would say in a broken voice
I doubted it.
“You will eventually find your way”….she said with conviction
I couldn’t see it.
“Children will pull on your coat-tail for a little while.. but will pull on your heartstrings forever”
I thought she was overly dramatic.
Can I just go back and say.. you were right Momma. You were so right.
I can’t because she’s not here.
I wish I could go back, I’m sure most of us do. Regrets.
I wish I could take back my angry words, my ugly attitudes and my dismissal when she would give me her advice. The things I took for granted as a teen, even as an adult.
Instead, I accept Grace to replace the regret.
However, I can’t help but feel her pushing me to keep on going, keep on doing the hard things because with any hope at all? It will eventually make a difference.
I do not have all of the good answers to parent, neither did she. What I do have? a source…the same one she used more than I ever knew.
Having said this in no way makes me a perfect parent, but the total opposite – imperfect. I’m struggling in my current stage of parenting. Those heartstrings are being played like a fast-paced banjo tune and I am trying to exhale before the next run of chords.
When all is quiet, I am reminded to breathe deeply. Pray. Repeat. Listen. Go to the source.
As a child, I thought my Momma surely had to be a super hero of some sort. She held us all together, made sure that we always had what we needed. She was the picture of strength.
Then I became a teen.
I revisited a place in my mind today. You know, the place that you never forget but wish you could? The place you regretted, yet you learned a hard lesson. It was almost as if she knocked on my heart and whispered..”Hey? remember that one time?”
I disobeyed….disappointed her with my poor choices. I knew there would be a consequence, I was just waiting it out to hear the gavel hit, receive my sentence. She delivered it fiercely. I was grounded – from pretty much anything that I enjoyed. Car, sleepover, phone……..
I was angry.
I was furious.
I retreated behind closed doors and vowed that she was unfair. I sat on the edge of my bed and quietly mumbled “I hate her for this!” I made up my mind that I would retaliate by not speaking to her unless I was spoken to.
Hours later, I figured I had gotten my point across to her. I expected to enter the room and find my strong Momma ready to tell me what she thought about my little plan and be in even more trouble. What I found was this….
There she sat at the end of the couch, with a cup of coffee, her opened Bible on the end table and a box of tissues in her lap.
I cannot to this day remember what I had done to be grounded. What I do remember are her quiet words.
“I will always try to do what is best for you, correct you even when it is painful. I will raise you to do the right thing, even if you do not choose it”
and there it was….. and I was so ashamed.
What I learned (other than to never give my Momma the silent treatment) ….. I learned about unconditional love.. the kind that Mommas’ give their stubborn teenage daughters. Within seconds, she steadied herself and said.. “now come over here and let me hug you.. but don’t you ever do that to me again, because we should always be able to talk to one another”
This morning I sat in my own little corner of the couch with my coffee and kleenex.. and my Mommas prayer book.
I get it.
I’m sorry Momma.. now I get it.
My heart hurts when I can’t make it all better, when I can no longer offer a band-aid on a boo boo. My heart breaks when I cannot fast forward past the pains of growing up. I feel broken and tired when I don’t have all of the answers. I’m struggling to see my way through.. say the right things, when is tough love appropriate and when it is not. Why? Why not? How? When?
Go to the Source
It is here I realize another moment of adult truth..
How many times do we do the same with our Heavenly Father.. do our own thing, go our own way and ignore His instruction? Only to realize that we break His heart as well.
I am thankful for Grace.
I am thankful for His forgiveness.
This parenting thing is hard and I would like to think I have all of the answers, I surely do not. There will be days when I really mess it all up.. but with any hope at all.. there will be more that I actually get it right and my Mommas words will still make sense.
Proverbs 22:6King James Version (KJV)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.