I sent a group text to my older boys – “Be safe on your way home. Love you guys.”
At almost the same moment, I received a text from my mother. “Be safe,” she said.
The timing of the two magnified the message behind them. The message I knew in my heart to be true.
No matter how old you get, you’ll always carry your momma’s heart with you.
My young adult self simply wanted independence just as my young adult boys want theirs. I must remember this when my inquiries and warnings cause them to feel more smothered than loved. In such moments, I need to pull back. Praying more. Speaking less. Trusting that the One who goes with them is more than capable of caring for them.
Isn’t that such a hard thing for mothers to do? To let go of these children we’ve loved so tightly and fought for so fiercely. Those whose scraped knees we’ve bandaged, whose high fevers we’ve battled, whose stubborn streaks we’ve tried our best to tame, whose thoughts and actions we’ve tried hard to mold, whose broken hearts have broken ours, whose successes have made us proud, whose poor choices have called us to demonstrate a love that doesn’t give up.
These are the very children who grow up, excited and eager to become adults. Ready to spread their wings and fly away on their own. Some remaining close to the nest, others not. All trying to navigate the newness of adulthood without momma “mothering” them too much. For them, it seems that day will never arrive. But for mommas, it arrives much too soon and our hearts struggle with what our minds already know. Our children are no longer children.
If we raise them right, the love and instruction given them will leave an imprint on their hearts. So, we work tirelessly to teach and train and prepare for the day our little ones take flight and begin to do life on their own. We smile for the promising future that lies before them. We cry for the not-so-distant past they’re leaving behind. And we thank God for allowing us to somehow, someway be a part of both.
So young adult, be patient with your momma. Let her love you. Let her worry over you. Let her check on you. Let her pray for you. Some day you’ll better understand your momma’s love. But until then, when she tells you to be careful, to wear your helmet, to drive safely, just know what she’s really saying is “Dear child, be careful with your momma’s heart.”
To my own kids, thank you for being so kind to your momma’s heart. Because of you and your daddy, I have known more love than I deserve. What a beautiful gift you have been to me!
And to my own momma, thank you for allowing me to carry your heart into the world. I’ve done my best to treat it well.