I'm extremely blessed, as a mom, with three beautiful, healthy, bright children. One of them has already left the nest, (flown the coop?), and one is still in that fun preschool stage, where everything I say and do is wonderful, and she wants me with her all the time. Mother's Day was fun yesterday, because she was so pleased and proud to present me with the little gifts she'd made in school and Sunday school.
My Middle Child, though, is the one that occupies most of my time, and most of my thoughts. She's in that phase of adolescence right now that is the complete opposite of the preschool time, where the things I say and do are moronic and embarrassing, and the thought of being touched by or seen with me is repulsive. She's having a tough time of it, too, really trying to find her way, and I'd like to help her, guide her around the potholes I can see in her path, but she can't see that. To her, I'm an obstacle, an impediment, the only thing between her and the fulfilment of her dreams.
Mothers I know, who have been there and done that, tell me it will pass, and I hope it will. I miss the closeness I used to feel with my daughter. I miss seeing her get really excited about accomplishing something. I miss feeling like I know her better than anyone else.
The truth is, despite her current struggles, I know she's a really remarkable girl. Beautiful and strong, smart and quick-witted, full of ideas and spunk, creative, gifted and with a lively imagination. I look at her, and I see all the things she doesn't realize she can be. I look at her and want desperately to be able to fast forward her through the troubled times and bring her to a place of cognition, an age of reason, where she sees the world more clearly, and understands that I am not a stumbling block but an ally, and an advocate.
The strange thing, I think, about motherhood, is the ability to see your children as all their ages at one time. I look at my Small, and see her sweet preschool face, but have a vision of the woman she'll grow to be. I look at my Oldest, and still see that tiny, funny little boy, hidden in the man he now is. I look at my Middle Child, and behind the teenager I see the soft baby, my little pig-tailed sweetheart, round faced and sunny, my chatty and funny preteen, and the woman I want her to grow into, confident, accomplished and successful. My highest goal, my biggest challenge, is to help guide her, and all my children, really, into the place God has for them, the place where they become the amazing people I know them to be.
My prayer, every day, is for strength, for wisdom, for guidance, and for perspective, with a debt of gratitude and praise for all the people they have been, are, and will become.