Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spread Your Wings

Some days I know I'm a bad mom. Others, the jury is out.  Unless the jury is made up of my younger children.  They're the ones in the midst of being sent to their rooms for misbehaving, or being grounded for being at a house that is not 'approved', oh, and for being on the roof of said house. (This was the 5 year-old. We won't go into the panic I experienced when I drove up and found him on the roof. I'm sure you can imagine it for yourself.)  The older kids have come to a place where they tend to appreciate me. That's because the big-bad-world is staring them in the face.

Which brings me to why I'm feeling like one bad mamma. I've been hearing/reading about moms who 'just love their kids so much they never want them to move away from home'.  They say things like, "Please don't ever leave me, stay in my house forever and ever."  I look at them and think, 'What, are you crazy?'


Perhaps it's because their kids are young.  They haven't reached that crucial I'm-a-teenager-and-I-know-more-than-you-ever-did-and-let-me-tell-you-all-I-know phase.  Or, maybe it's just that they are better moms.  It isn't that I don't love my kids or want them around. I do. I love each of them.  But, see, there comes a time when little birds need to fly.

I've taught them, nurtured them, molded them.  But, like clay, at some point it's no longer pliable. I've done all I can and it's time for them to go out and find out who they are.  They need to make choices and decisions.  They need to try and fail and try again.  They need to know that mom and dad won't always be there to rescue them when things don't work out.  They really need to know how expensive food and gas are.

I want them to stretch and grow.  There are certain lessons that can't be learned from behind my apron strings.  It's crucial for them to find out how good they are.  That hard things won't kill them, but will make them stronger. I so want them to understand the incredible potential I see every time I look at them.  Because, as much as I may tell them, they need to discover it for themselves.

So, if that makes me a bad mother, then I gladly accept the title.  I'll polish that trophy and put it on my mantle.  I will shoo them out the door with a loving nudge.  I'll fill out college applications and financial aid forms, and, just today, missionary paperwork.  And, in the next few months I'll watch as three of my little birds leave the nest.  I'll cry.  I'll hug them and make them promise to call and text and write.  And, then I'll stand back and watch them as they spread their beautiful wings and fly off to find their future.




12 comments:

  1. Ok my girls are still young and I am already 'looking' forward to the day they fly off into the big bad world to see what they make of it. You may have to move over for the bad mama title ;-)

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    1. I'll happily share the winner's podium with you.

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  2. Someone told me that teens have to be the way they are so mom's will want them to leave when the time came.

    I agree, I look forward to my kids stepping out and finding their strength. I'll always be here to mother them, but moving on is part of life.

    Congrats on the mission papers!!

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    1. Thanks. I was surprised by how much paperwork there is. A lot more than when I went!

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    2. I've heard we should get started early cause there's a lot to do!

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  3. First reaction: I was kind of hoping the 5 year old on the roof was some kind of metaphor. I'd need new underwear. Second reaction: love the ACTUAL metaphor that at some point, the kids are no longer pliable clay. Lastly - I am so happy to have found you - you make me feel more normal in a world of "I love my kids so much that I'm considering surgery to attach them to my elbow." This is truly a great post. But as usual, I'm not suprised by that.

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    1. You're so kind.
      No surgery for me. If anything were attached to my elbow, I wouldn't be able to bend my arm and drink my diet Coke.

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  4. Replies
    1. Even when they fly as far as yours have?

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    2. yes...even then. I have to admit I cried and cried when we left him in utah and then i cried again when I left him this last time but not as long and not much. He's growing up and I have to let him....that part is so hard!

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  5. I so relate to this. Maybe it's because I started having kids at 22, but when people lament that their children grow to fast, I always look at them dumbfounded. The increased independence, ability for abstract thought and decreased need for mom-made PBJs all work beautifully for me. I glow with pride the older they get and I'm sure I will tearfully, painfully kiss my last kid good-bye and send him off to college and race home to my husband to say, "Honey, FINALLY we are alone!"

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    1. By the time my youngest leaves, I'll be so old that I'll have to scoot home with my walker.

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