Re-birth

I have been many things in my life. A bare-footed child playing her way through a long summer in Indiana. A shy high school student who made herself try out and get into a performing choir. A college student finding her own identity on the campus she still thinks of as home. A young wife moving across many states to begin a life where she knew no one. A daughter, sister, mother, friend, teacher. All of these different phases of my life now combine, in a scattered way, inside my conscious. As I once again re-invent myself I take some part from each of those beings I once was and, hopefully emerge re-born.
I am a mother to my daughters, but they are grown and do not need me as they once did. I was once mother to my own mom as she slipped into dementia. That was a struggle for both of us. The word mother seems to have one meaning, the female parent of a child. But, we mother’s know it has so many more. We cradle our children to our breasts, snuggle them and kiss their beautiful heads. We watch them gallop freely away from us a young children, but know they will turn back to us when they become frightened. We argue with them as teens as they try to find their own definition of themselves. And we cry with excitement and loss as we watch them walk away from us on a college campus. At that moment we know they will truly never return to us as children. I realize my daughters are adults and quite capable of making decisions. Yet, I struggle when I know or feel a decision will not be the right one for them. Still, unless they ask, I try not to voice an opinion. At this point, I have to let them learn from their mistakes. Consequently, I, as so many other mothers before have done, must rebuild the image my daughters and I have of myself.
How do we mothers go about building that new relationship with our children? I am struggling with that now. How do I define to my girls that I no longer feel the need to mother them? In my opinion they turned out pretty good. I know I cannot be a girlfriend. But, can we be friends? Can we share experiences as adults? The trial begins as I realize I must stop myself from being a mother, and they will need to stop being a child. It is a difficult transition. I don’t think I ever successfully made that with my mother. But, I want to try with my daughters. I want to establish a relationship still built on trust, but not reliance. I want my daughters to come to me for advice, but not expect me to solve their problems. I want to respect their independence, but I need them to understand I need independence too. Most of all I want to have fun. I want to laugh with them over silly things. I want to enjoy our times together. I want us to find a common ground we can be comfortable with in our new roles.

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5 thoughts on “Re-birth

  1. Wow, this is great…who can’t relate? Wish I had answers…but I think we done good!!! Thanks for speaking for so many of us!

  2. Posey…I LOVE it!! Your timing couldn’t have been better as I, once again, send Emily off to school! Thanks for always sharing!

  3. Posey, well said. This is a tough transition to make for all of us and it is tough to stop being a “mother” and become a bystander in their lives. But, we have done well and they all are thriving!

  4. Poesy as stated above I’m sure you’ve done well with your girls. Mine are 29-34 and 37 trust me you will laugh and have fun with them. They will choose to spend time with you. My Andrea got married in June a year ago and we are going on vacation with her and her husband in April and we’re not paying! You will be friends.

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