Growing children is one of the most intuitive, non-linear experiences possible. Being a mother is a heart task.
The wheel of love starts its never-ending spin the moment our body chemistry begins to change to accommodate the new guest. Anticipation, excitement, future planning, unnamed fears, worry, anxiety, confusion, the unknown; all join together to create a true organic shock and awe campaign each time a baby is born.
This wheel of life and love is the unacknowledged twin sister of the death cycle. Giving birth is fierce, body shattering, explosive, tumultuous, painful, dangerous and demands a wholehearted commitment to completing the mothering task. There is no turning back once the maneuvers have started. To the uninitiated, mother love and heart talk could be trivialized and contained in a lace and hearts candy box, labeled as mere fluff and stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mothers who have lost children forever mourn because up front they paid the exorbitant price of total commitment to the protection and nurturance of this one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated miracle.
When our offspring survive into adulthood, the second stage of mothering begins. Letting go, getting out of the way and surrendering a leading role can be hard on the ego. Accepting that our children are now starring in their own life is another mighty task that requires real intestinal fortitude.
Lately, my life is raining babies. My youngest daughter, Sara, just gave birth to her second child, a boy, born in New Zealand. His sister, who just turned 3, proudly holds him, dances around his head, kissing him and explaining that he can’t have cookies or candy or drink from her sippy cup because he is a baby.
My second daughter, Angelique, is experiencing the challenges of letting the reins out with her daughter Elena, as she enters into both college and the work world, and son Kyle, as he gets ready to apply to colleges and make some decisions about the career directions he wants to pursue.
My eldest daughter, Lisa, a mother of one boy and three girls, welcomed her third grandchild, Farrah, into our lives. Two of her daughters are now mothers standing up to the challenges and joys of raising these amazing little ones with a confidence that is inspiring. I get to add the title great-grandmother to my already cherished handle given to me by my three grandchildren in New York. I am known “in the neighborhood” as Grandma California.
My daughter, Jennica, has her work cut out for her. She and her husband have two sons and a daughter. Her second son, Dustin, was diagnosed with autism at 12 months and he turns 17 this month. Jennica involved herself fully in educating and implementing every avenue she could find to help him survive. She is a true champion and has continued to stand up and fight each day with the courage and bravery of a warrior. I marvel at her mental and emotional genius that she has honed into a true talent and a passionate life purpose as she daily coaxes Dustin into life and away from isolation.
Obviously, I am proud of my children. What is not so obvious is the wonder and awe that happens inside of me when I step into the world that my children, as mothers themselves, brilliantly negotiate with innate confidence that boggles my mind.
Luckily, the wheel of love is circular, non-linear and infinite. My initial mothering investment continues to yield abundant gifts that shore up my sometimes-faltering heart with delicious experiences that are rich, fulfilling and priceless. Happy Mother’s Day.
Susan is a local author and personal development consultant. Learn more beyondintellect.com