I missed his birthday.
I didn't forget it, that would be ridiculous…impossible. But with an ocean dividing us and 5,000 miles in between, I wasn't there for a sweet indulgence, his TWO favorite desserts for breakfast; neither of them a birthday cake but our special tradition; or to look at him and study him, to bear witness to this overnight change. I wasn't there at midnight to kiss him while he slept and welcome his new year; he never would have known, but I would.
The calendar marks time impassive to mothers' wishes on stars–one more day like this.
How can a day, a number for goodness sakes, make such an impression, such a difference?
My youngest. Last born. Baby.
He acted as if this was okay, my absence. He certainly celebrated and was celebrated. There was no void of attention, I did, at least, make sure of that.
Why does this thing–a mother's guilt–pluck heart chords? It is false and faulty, a thing we should cast aside but can't quite manage.
So it picks picks picks and does its best to defeat us.
But I'm raising a defiant fist in the face of False Guilt. My son is cherished and he is good and he is enough.
And that is enough.
Your sons, your daughters are cherished and good and enough, too.
Our children don't expect, they don't even want, perfect parents; they just need to be loved and led. And isn't that what we give?
Isn't that what I've given since before he was born? Isn't that enough?
Love comes daily, in moments sometimes memory-stored but mostly just thankless and forgotten. The leading comes in the doing and being–loving their father, serving others, seeking the Kingdom and knowing the King, making choices sometimes hard but wise, inviting them to real life when it's going through mountains and not over or around them.
They're always watching, even when their eyes are closed.
Mine were part of the Hard Choice we made, the one that called each of us to sacrifice something precious. They are the reason we could make the hard choice, and yes, we've praised them over and over, and oh, how they rose to the occasion.
Let 'em rise, let 'em rise! Can you hear it in the silence? What an injustice…what a disservice…to never give them space to rise!
Rising has a cost but the benefits outweigh.
False guilt, be damned! I see the good and the glory if I just look for it, and isn't mother-guilt nothing more than satan's ploy to strike at Achilles Heel? Kill, steal, destroy–oh how he knows a mother's weak spot. He uses our babies as an offensive shield and when I think of it like that, I think Really…I'm letting my children serve as a weapon against me? Puhlease….
I'm not interested in giving him victory, especially when my children are the casualty.
* * * * *
My baby is 15. Yesterday I drove him to the DMV to take the written test for his learner's permit and a new driver was born.
When he was fast asleep, I tiptoed into his room to congratulate him and welcome the milestone with a belated birthday kiss. What he doesn't know won't hurt him.
And because I'd never pray it, my wish upon a star went something like…
if only one more day like this.
Wiping back the tears and echoing the prayer wish of “…if only one more day like this.” YOU are an incredible mother, not only for the ways in which you love them, but maybe more so for the ways in which you acknowledge that the perfect isn’t necessary. It’s the love that is recognized at the end of the day. It is in the turning them over that they come back and in the giving them up that we love them more freely. He first loved them. He first loved US. We were created for a this. So. Thankful.
I missed my youngest’s 10th birthday 2 weeks ago. Like your boy, she assured me it was ok. Like you I made sure it was a fantastic day without me. Still…the guilt. Still…Satan whispering in my ear that I have failed. But I…you…we…didn’t. You are 100% correct.
Her maturity spoke volumes to me. And our celebration when I returned…fantastic.
We are…MORE than enough, because HE is more than enough.
Huge gratitude here. Momma guilt is so prickly. UGH. As I walked through this line by line I felt the sweet soothing balm like a salve on that thing, that guilt. Everyday a balancing act of what and when to pour into each of my three and when to step back. But the LOVE, of Him and the love for them…. well you say it so well. I feel your love coming through the page and isn’t that what we want to express when we write too?
What a lovely post, Robin! I’m not sure there’s a mother out there who hasn’t gone through the guilt–in my case, repeatedly. You’ve encouraged many mother-hearts with the truth of your words today. They may not be enough to put an end to the guilt, but they sure give us incentive to wave a fist in Satan’s face!