All parents know the feeling of utter failure – the certainty that someone should come take your parenting license away IMMEDIATELY, because you suck and you have no business raising children. You yelled at your kid or you can’t stop the bullies or you forgot to send a check to school for the field trip or you made the wrong kind of cookies or you couldn’t get it together to make the weekend super fun or you couldn’t keep your child from getting sick or you let your kid slide on manners or…or…or… so many things. So many ways to fail. But then something happens and you get a hug and kiss and an “I love you, Mama” or, better yet, someone tells you about a wonderful, compassionate thing your child did and you are reminded that maybe you don’t suck so bad after all.
And then the teen years arrive and you are, unequivocally, the biggest idiot on the face of the earth. Your teen makes sure you know that on a daily basis and you suck it up, and keep smiling and wait for the day when the kid gets past that stage. And it happens. And there you are, with an adult relationship and it is different but it is good and entirely lacking in the messy kiss, sweetness of the relationship you had when your child was very young.
Last night my very adult, very pregnant daughter had a minor panic attack. She lives on the Eastern Seaboard and the snow was falling, the rain was freezing and the plows were nowhere in sight. She was really terrified that she might go in to labor and not be able to get out – and she called her Mama. Her husband was right there, assuring her that everything would be okay but she still needed to call her Mama and cry and get get some motherly love and reassurance that the world wouldn’t let her down. I felt sad for her in her panic (and maybe a wee worried, myself) but I have to admit that still being needed as a Mama is a beautiful thing and I love it. Doesn’t happen a lot once the kids grow up so when it does I am reminded that I did a good job raising my kids and that I was and continue to be a source of love and strength for them. And for that, I am most grateful.
She’s still pregnant and the plows still haven’t come but they will, and I will get there and every little thing is gonna be all right.