Watching Your Children Grow

When you have children there is so much noise and your days are filled with so many activities that you often daydream of how your life will be once your children grow up.

Then it happens right before your eyes. One day you find yourself at their high school graduation, then their college graduation, then their wedding and you are amazed that this person standing before you was the same baby you brought home.

I read once that all things in life have a sequence; e.g., a flower is first a bud and then it blooms. We can’t hold it back from blossoming just as we can’t control the daylight. A flower is beautiful and delicate, and can be crushed easily if we don’t protect it from the wind and the rain. The sequence in raising children is very similar. First the seed, then birth and then we watch as our children take steps toward learning and discovering the world. We cannot hold them back, but we protect them, keeping them as safe as possible.

As we raise our children we do everything possible to ease the way, to tend to the broken hearts and to minimize the mistakes they have to make in order to grow up. Letting them go is difficult because our instinct is to shield them as a mother’s love cannot prevent life from touching her children. It’s not in our power.

Every human being has to search for truth in life. Our children must ask themselves “Why are we here?” and “What will I do with my life?” It is the ever changing process of life. Our children must take their own journeys through life and find the answers they are seeking. They will always need our encouragement and love, but we must prepare to let go.

Motherhood is forever, but the relationship with your children is constantly evolving.

On my kitchen wall I have a plaque of a guardian angel. Written around her wings are these words: “Mothers hold their children’s hand for awhile, their hearts forever.” We owe our children nothing less than our love, our guidance and our prayers, and then we must allow them to search for their dreams. The sequence of life must continue. They will get married. They will become parents. You will become a grandmother.

The day you hold your grandchild for the first time, your heart will overflow with love for this little miracle who is the child of the baby you once held lovingly in your arms. And with the unbearable pain of love, you accept this baby and all his sweetness, and you hold him close. Flashes of your child will come to mind, his first words, first steps and all the memories a mother keeps tucked away in her heart. Without a doubt and with infinite wonder, you will understand more than ever that motherhood is God’s gift to mankind.

By Maria Luisa Salcines