April 04, 2014

Can't Get Them Back

Two days from now one of my granddaughters will be turning 13. That makes 3 of the girls that will be 13 all at the same time! I posted a picture of her playing her violin during a Christmas show this year and a picture when she was about 2 years old when she is just about to kiss a bunny rabbit.

Her mother posted this response: "I love this photo and it brings tears to my eyes - my sweet girl is growing into an amazing young woman. I'm a proud mama, but it sure is bittersweet knowing how fast it is going!"

Her comment didn't just bring tears to my eyes but tears that rolled down my cheeks. This granddaughter is a sweet girl and she is quickly growing into an amazing young woman.

I am also a proud mama, but unlike my daughter-in-law, I know how fast time passes. I know how quickly your precious little girl turns forty and has two children of her own. The awareness of what little time I seemed to share with my sons because it flew by and they became men, one expecting a grandchild of his own and one living hundreds of miles away with responsibilities that keep him absent from my daily living but never absent from my heart.

There is a quote out-there-somewhere that advises parents to "give our children roots and wings to fly."  

There are three adults in this world that I can say I did the very best i knew how to give them roots. We were a family-oriented family but there was so much more I could have done.  So many lost moments to instill in them how much they are loved, how much they belong, that no matter how far they travel my heart will always be a safe haven when they seek that bit of respite we all need now and then.

All three have beautiful wings. All three can fly, occasionally catching a thermal, rising and soaring. There are times when they lose the wind and drop out of the sky. They have hurts and bruises that can't be mended with a kiss and a Superman or Hello Kitty band aid. They always rise again, sometimes on their own, sometimes with the support of a loving spouse and at times with the help of prayer.

My oldest was born when I was 18 years old, my next baby came when I was 20 and by 21 all three were here with me.  A baby having a babies.  I didn't know I wouldn't have forever to tell them how much I loved them with everything in me. I didn't know how quick the days they would listen to me would fly by so quickly. More importantly, the times I should have been listening to them flew by even faster.

The most wonderful gift in the universe is being a mother. It is also the hardest challenge in the world. I don't mean "hard" in the sense of mid-night feedings, laundry, cooking, homework and getting them off to school on time. 

The hardest part of being a mother, the absolutely most difficult part for me, is trying to contain all this love I have for them in my heart. How does a women's heart not burst from the sheer immensity of joy and love and pride?  

John, Adam, Nicole. You make me believe in God because I know that I could not survive the overwhelming love I have for you three without God helping me carry it.

I want some of those childhood moments back. The moments when I ran past you to do some meaningless task instead of wrapping my arms around you. Those days when I got home from work and went crazy because some stupid chores might not have been done, those are the moments I should have cried out in joy that you were in my life and suggested we go for a walk or paint something crazy on a wall or have a picnic on the floor in the living room while you told me about your day and your thoughts.

No matter what, believe, with everything in you, that I am now and will always be a soft place to fall. Promise me that you will always remember:

I am proud of you. I honor you. I love you.


  1. Roots & Wings
    If I could give you many things,
    I'd give you gold and silver rings
    Of knowledge that I've gained with years
    The gift of smiling through the tears
    Confidence, courage, determination,
    Laughter and spirit and love of creation,
    Wrapped up in a box
    with a bow, I'd give
    To you these gifts to keep for as long as you live.
    "If I could give you just two things,
    One would be Roots, the other, Wings."
    Roots, not to tie you to the ground,
    But to guide you to where your fulfillment is found
    The nourishing start, the firm foundation,
    The source of your inner determination.
    Wings to soar over obstacles, wings to fly free,
    Wings to glide to the heights of the best you can be.
    And when obstacles loom, from your Roots grows a hand
    Providing a strong, sturdy,
    safe place to land.
    I'd choose these two things for the gifts that are best,
    For with Roots and with Wings, you'll find all the rest!


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