Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Collected Years

senior prom, 2013

Some things in life are instantaneous. Some good and some not so good. Most things are a process though. Motherhood is this way. We seem to constantly be in the process of something with our children. And it can be so painful. Sometimes I, well, maybe often, I feel so lost, wondering what all I have done or not done that has helped or hurt her.

When they are little, it's more physical things, like how many inches they grew since their last check-up. Or when the next tooth is coming in. As they grow up not only do they not need us as physically anymore; playing in the sandbox or running around the backyard with them, but we begin a different process. Wondering when we'll see if the foundation we've given them has taken root. As our kids start to grow in their "grown" years, and they start detaching and finding independence outside us, and exploring with self-expression, they need us more than ever around the clock emotionally and mentally. It can be exhausting but we know that relationship is key in guiding them. But still we wait. It's a process.

Then you start to see your kid is loved genuinely by all "cliques" in school and their teachers because you taught them when they were in pre-school to befriend everyone and that we are all created equal. You see their leadership skills in action because you taught them to get involved in grade-school and to help others who might need it. You told them to let their light shine, so they could be a blessing to others. You see them immersed in activities because you encouraged them to do whatever they wanted and to try new things, and to follow through. You see them thriving with community because you showed them your whole life how important it was to do life with others. You see them loving God and others, and worshipping God because when they were 4 you told them how loving He is but that it was their choice to love Him back and to give Him their heart, because He is a genuine God and wants our love to be real. It's when you see your daughter wear a purity ring at the age of 13 because you taught her that she doesn't have to conform, and you see her have courage and no shame in wearing it and standing for something that is important to her. You see her interact with adults so nicely because you taught her manners are timeless and to say "please and thank you" at the age of 6 months, and to be social. These are the sorts of things we wait so anxiously for, wondering what their next heart move will be. And when you see it, you are blown away in amazement because it's so beautiful. You are profoundly humbled, not by what you have taught them or instilled in them, but because of what they chose to do with what they were given. I've waited nearly 20 years for this.

I will see my daughter graduate in 2 weeks, and she will take her collected years, moments, teachings, and guidance into her new life and I will be sitting there at the commencement with every possible good thing overflowing in my heart, ready to spill out because this girl has done my heart and soul, so so good.