I published this post on July 16, 2014. It is no less complex now than it was then. Since then, engagements and babies have added to the world of our family. But, the communication is still shadowed in misunderstandings and different interpretations. Love is a fragile and complicated thing among families; it is fierce and determined, yet easily broken.
My love has been questioned, doubted and sometimes dismissed. As much as I wish that I could lighten their loads, these are roads that they choose to travel alone. I am glad that my adult children have found families that bring them joy. Selfishly, I wish that I could too, but perhaps, later in life it will come back around. Can I say that I am proud of them? Would it matter? Perhaps, it is too late, for I am no longer part of the daily decisions, but I am happy for them. I am proud for them as each is self-made as they continue to grow and develop.
Many years ago, my mother spoke to me about my independent and opinionated children. Then, she smiled at me, and said, “Hmmm. I wonder where they come from?”
I love you and you will always be my child. I have been trying to stretch and grow to accommodate your view of life, but I realize that I am uncomfortable at times. Perhaps, it is because I am out of my comfort zone trying to be inside of yours. When I raised you, I had hoped to give you good character and kindness. Given your origins, independence, intelligence, and strong opinions could not help but be part of your nature. Sometimes, those opinions hurt me. You know I am sensitive and I was an easy target. But, still, I love you.
You have chosen to live your life differently than I have chosen to live mine. I try to keep my door open to you whenever you want to walk through it. We have made, and continue to make, different choices. I did not want to choose sides. I thought that I could lean over and hold on to all of them…. I want to be a part of your life and hope that you will grow to love me and include me in yours. However much I think we are the same, there is still too much difference. I am grateful that you are happy, but your version of happiness does not look quite like mine.
Will we grow to understand each other more as you grow in years? Will you choose me willingly, or reluctantly, to be a part of your life?
With every fiber of my being, you are like a limb; I could not imagine my life without you. When you are hurt and sad, I want to fix anything that happens to you. I want to comfort you and be the one who can make you stop crying or heal your pain. That fierce desire to care for and protect you will never change. But, you have found a love, that no parent can compete with, who reaches a part of your heart that I never will. As you grow, the brilliant colors are being added to your personal landscape.
What I am realizing, is that I want to walk with you on your path always, but you are walking on a road that I cannot follow. I am proud of you for choosing what you believe in and being self-sufficient. You are a wonderful friend and caring to those whom you love and cherish. You do not do everything the way that I do, nor do we have the same long term ideas, even though I wish we did. Please don’t judge me so harshly when you ask me to love you unconditionally.
Wanting to keep you near, but having to let you go is harder than you may think. Giving you roots, and wings, sounds easier than it is despite the gratitude that I feel as your parent. I can tell you that you were very wanted and are greatly loved. I did the best that I could at the time and continue to learn every day. If we are lucky enough, both of us will continue to improve until the last day of our lives.
With all my many words, ideas, and ideals, I still cannot seem to say the right thing. We do not agree on the method despite sharing the theory. We struggle to communicate at times. I am not perfect, and as special as you are, neither are you. We are two humans hoping to heal the future and right the errors of the past. While humans tend to focus on the bad, I hope that you will recall happy memories as well.
I hope you can grow to respect me and my feelings. I know that our relationship can be fragile despite the many years that I raised you. While you may not feel the same way, or understand, I promise you that you are a part of me always. As long as you are living, my baby you will be.
Remember, once I was your home.
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