I'm beginning to see the light!
If you've been around my blog for any amount of time in the last 2 years or so, you know how close my teenage daughter and I are. You'd also know that that relationship has shifted through the last year or so and it's been hard on me. Up until about a year ago, this girl depended on me still. She needed me. She wanted me. She liked me. Ok, maybe she still likes me technically, but she was still "into" me. Then she started pulling away and that confused me. She started not needing me in the same ways (and I'm being very vague because there is so much to write about but I don't want to focus on this today). I couldn't understand what was happening to the relationship that we had held for so long. I think because this pulling away for independence happened so much later for her than most teens, is why it was so hard for me. It shocked me actually. Geez, it's like I missed the memo on the fact that your teenage kids pull away and search for their own freedom and try to survive on their own two wings. Hello.
Her changing rocked my world. I process things. I am a reflector, therefore a processor. That means when things happen in my life, I try to figure out what they mean, what they will represent, what God is doing and so forth. I'm always seeking the wisdom and the goodness that is there. And I'm always looking for the answers and trying to figure out how I'll get through something that affects me so deeply)but actually, it was when I decided to let go, that I started to make these breakthroughs, funny how that happens, when you stop trying to "figure it out", is when you figure it out).
This passed year with Madelynn changing has been no different for me. I have kicked, screamed, cried, whined, and even taken some of my pain out on her. Not my proudest moments. But hey, my life as I knew it was changing, my very essence of motherhood was shifting, and I was scared.
I realized last week that I missed her. I missed my girl. I missed how things once were. For the last year I have been so focused on all the losses that were coming with this point in motherhood, that I couldn't see any new gains. You know that feeling when you are hurting, or confused and people try to tell you truth or something that will make you feel better? Or they give you their experience to try to help you see it in a new way but you just can't because you are so stuck?
I've had precious people share stuff with me about this whole transition period I am in with my daughter (she's 18 now btw), and a lot of what they've shared actually has helped factually, but I couldn't really take it as my truth or apply it to my situation, because I was drowning in my own misery of motherhood. My heart was so swollen from pain, I couldn't really believe it.
I see now that what others have shared with me really did affect me. I just didn't see it come full circle or believe it until now. I didn't "see the light" until just today!!!
Here's the thing--if we think about our relationships, even marriage for instance. We all get stuck on what we think it is or what we want or what we want to hang onto. So many of us are ignorant to what marriage really is when we get married, that once we are married and in it for years and years, we wonder why it is the way it is. Stick with me. I have held onto my marriage from when it first started, meaning, when things have changed and didn't go at all how I thought they would, I was confused once again! For so long I longed for what my marriage "once was". I craved it. I longed for it and I mourned it. The early years. Gosh the early years. I finally realized, it wasn't coming back! Marriage changes, and quickly, and constantly. Friendships do as well. But I'm convinced we think they have stayed the same and we treat those relationships like they have, and that causes issues and tension in our own hearts and the lives of others.
I think it's why so many of us feel nostalgia when we think of our parents when we were little. Or at least I do. I had some rough childhood years, but there are sweet moments I have collected that I remember and long for. It hurts to think of them actually. I want them back in a way. But see, that changes too, our relationship with our parents. Nothing, I mean nothing, stays the same. I think our creatures of habit selves cling to what we know or what we are comfortable with or what we really held dear. And when change occurs, it can leave us confused, desolate, and feeling hopeless. And that's what's happened with motherhood for me.
My very role is changing before my eyes. What once was, will no longer be. What?!?
I'm still having trouble with that, but, I now am starting to see that light. I see the positive side of her spreading her wings and trying to survive without me. Gosh Gina, duh! I see the good side of her gaining independence, and I see a beautiful future as she becomes the woman she will be! I see and feel excitement thinking about what is ahead instead of focusing on what I have lost behind me. As many old chapters as there is in motherhood there are a hundred plus more in my new phase of motherhood. What a blessing that is!!! I pray that we will see a day of college graduation, engagement, marriage, grandchildren, her first house, all of the super exciting beginnings for her, I'll be able to enjoy and my heart will be fuller than it's ever been!
And the coolest part will be that I will not have to be doing the hard work like I've done for almost 20 years, I just get to enjoy the benefits (at least I hope to) of her life as an adult!
I too get to start a new life, just like her. New discoveries, new adventures, and new freedoms. It's been a while friends.
So here's to new beginnings, letting go of what was, and hope for the future--because unknown territory doesn't have to be a scary thing, it can be an amazing thing.