It happened today … the day my little girl said, “Hi Mom,” and walked by me to sit with her class at chapel. I had gone to chapel to sit with her. There is no doubt that I have been preparing for her to be independent and to have the confidence to not “need” me, and still I sat sad and proud at the same time. I teared up in joy over the brave little girl she has become. But why did she have to be brave to me?
You see, I am an “older” mom, and in today’s world that doesn’t mean a lot, thankfully. However, it still means that many of my best friends, who are near my age, are either empty nesters or about to be empty nesters. Is the feeling that I had today at chapel a mini feeling of what my friends with graduates are going through as this fall semester begins? I heard a friend say that she and her family have always been contributors of our school, and after her children graduated, they were not approached to be donors and she was saddened. Another friend told me she is moving and another told me “it’s bad.” So one day you are in the mix of children and other parents, and then one day you are not?
At the time, I had a hard time identifying with what my friends with graduates were saying. Today, though, I got a taste of Helena’s independence. The independence I created by holding her responsible for picking up her toys, bringing her dirty dish to the sink, not accepting tantrums as acceptable behavior, and holding her responsible for her actions. I want Helena to soar in life and to be a kindhearted contributing member of society. We still have a mighty long way to go as she is ripe old age of 4, but today I saw her shine as a brave little girl, and I was warmed from head to toe.
Before we were blessed with Helena, I was told several times that having a child is like your heart living outside of your body, and that your heart is always with your child. I couldn’t relate. But I get it now. When Helena is happy, I am happy. When she is sad or hurt, I feel it too.
I suppose as her independence grows, mine will too or maybe I will just go to college with her. Just kidding but not sure if I’m kidding.