It seems like only days ago I was holding my 18-year old daughter Blair as an infant, and my mother said, “It will go by so fast.” I couldn’t have imagined how right she was. It is unbelievable to me that Blair is about to graduate from high school and go off to college. The memories of being a mother in those early days are so sweet. It was a precious time. And all of the memories since then, good and bad, will always mean so much to me.
As I look back over the years of raising Blair and her sister Anna, the memories sometimes all run together as one large mosaic. There are so many little things that happened along the way that I just can’t remember, but wish I could. Some days I would do almost anything to have their sweet little pre-school faces back to kiss, just one more time. They were both so smiley, giggly and sweet. I did all I could to keep them as happy as possible. I wanted their lives to be filled with singing, laughing, hugging, and as little crying as possible.
Time moved on and began to speed up. Days, weeks and years were filled with school, dance, piano, cheerleading, gymnastics, voice lessons, church choir, doctor visits, dentist visits, more dance, and then, even more dance. There was driving, lots and lots of driving…so much driving. All along the way there were opportunities to teach them how to be the beautiful, intelligent, responsible young women that they are today. I took a lot of those opportunities, but lost a lot as well, probably because I was just plain tired. Fortunately, they had many other people in their lives to pick up the slack.
The teenage years began, and so did the tension. This is when instinct no longer did the trick. This is when many of the parenting mistakes occurred. This is when I screwed up a lot. This is when they realized I wasn’t so perfect, and sometimes even hated me. This is when I sometimes hated myself. This is when I found out what I was made of. This is when I learned what it really means to be a mother.
Now that they are 18 and 16, one leaving us soon, the other a new driver, I think about how this stage of my life is quickly coming to an end. They soon will both be off doing wonderful and exciting things. And, although it often hurts to think of them leaving, I know that I have done my job well and that they will be successful, and I pray, happy adults. What I have learned from this motherhood experience is that being a good mother requires you to accept your imperfections and admit to your mistakes, but also to enjoy the end product, your children, and know that YOU did it. Take the credit. Be proud of yourself, and be happy that you have invested yourself as a mother. I know I am.