Last week, I wrote an email to a cherished friend whose first born is about to graduation from high school. I have found myself sharing these types of words often in the last couple of years (many of the MOPS Moms I mentored now have graduation seniors)….
You have no idea how many times I have thought of you over the past school year as you have posted photos of your senior. There have been so many times that I have prayed for you through this bittersweet journey of Mothering.
I so remember when my oldest was graduating (in 2002) – it was wonderful and agony all at the same time. I was so proud of her, excited for her and yet I didn’t want her to graduate and start the next stage of her life. Truly is was bittersweet (which means sweet with a bitter after-taste). I remember lots of tears with joy during those days.
This mothering journey you are on moves fast – and your daughter, yourself and your family will be stretched throughout the upcoming days. It will be similar to when you brought a new baby home and everyone had to find their place in the family. Only now, instead of bringing them home, you are releasing them. We poured so much of ourselves into every season of their lives, that often we feel we have lost ourselves in their world. Your remaining family will feel it too when there is an empty spot at the table. Trust me, when I assure you that adjustment will come – maybe a little slower for you as your mama’s heart will also recognize that part of you is on her own.
One thing will never change, and that is your deep love for your daughter – you will always be the one who knew her first and continues to know her in a deep way only a mama can. You will know when she needs reassured that she can do what needs to be done. Be available but not needy, love her even if she appears to forget you and keep praying, every day for her heart to turn first and only to her Heavenly Father.
Hold tight to your sweet memories of her as a little girl, treasure each moment of the upcoming celebrations and give sweet praise that God allowed you to be her mama. Enjoy the festivity of her graduation and celebrate all that God has done through her! You had a big part in who she is and who she is yet to become.
Enjoy the sweet and expect the bitter because is the way of mothering.
Much love …