Many of my friends had children go off to college and start their adult phase of their lives this year. I’ve watched these beautiful women cry, write beautiful heartfelt notes on social media and have deep pain in their hearts as they went through watching this change occur. They said it was bittersweet because on one hand motherhood is a process of letting go and on another they were not ready to have this happen. It was difficult to watch, participate in and be happy for their children while inside being torn to pieces they were no longer little.
My own son is still in elementary school since we didn’t become parents until later in life. I looked at him after hearing my friends and said plainly, “Stop growing so fast okay.” He just gave me that silly young boy look, laughed and went to play with his own friends. I won’t lie watching my friends go through it made me hug him a little tighter for a little longer. Thank goodness he still likes to snuggle with me.
Motherhood may be the process of letting go and there will certainly be moments in time that are special along the way but it takes some true strength to endure this seasonal change in life. In that process what are our children seeing? How will they remember you in this time? How do they describe you? What are their feelings? Oh sure they are super excited about going on their own but inside you know the truth because you once did it yourself.
Every Day Changes
I have a son who still picks me flowers from my flowerbeds and holds my hand in parking lots. It occurred to me one day he wouldn’t do those things anymore. The first time he let my hand go as soon as we got to the sidewalk I admit it took me back. There was something sweet about holding that sticky little hand and it gave me such a sense of pleasure and pride. It filled me with joy that I could be connected with him like that and everyone knew he was my son and I was his mom. I could protect him and share closeness with him on a simple trip to the grocery store.
Letting go of that little hand and watching him grow has brought other blessings of course. He is still funny, tells crazy stories and has a great ability he is developing in drawing but there are changes occurring. I can see them and now that I’m aware one day he will leave I’m even more in tune to capturing these every day moments and holding them more.
Autumn is a physical reminder that everything changes in life. We all have seasons we go through that allow us to grow and change but when we see these changes in our children it gives us pause. Even though they sometimes drive us crazy and we get tired of picking up toys repeatedly we know this too is just temporary. It will change. We will change and so will our children. We want this but at the same time we have to understand that means letting go of what is now and allowing those changes to be fully appreciated like we enjoy watching the leaves turn from greens to reds and golds. Even though it is painful to see summer go by and our children grow it is still beautiful. We can embrace it and find comfort in the tidings of love, grace and fullfillment in the tidings of this season.
What We Know as Moms
I often wonder what my son will remember of his childhood. Many I know have troubling childhoods and they recall struggle, challenge and pain. Will he remember all the times I was at work and couldn’t do something with him? Will he remember the times I made his school lunch and his favorite foods? Will he remember our family trips and special things we did? What will be his fondest memories of me and his dad that he carries forward into his own adult journey? Am what I’m teaching him by living every day going to serve him well when its time for me to let him go? These are the worries of many moms even when they are little and even when we are telling them for the 100th time to pick up their room or hurry up so they don’t miss the school bus.
One thing I know is that when my friends children come home for holiday break from college and their new adult lives they will be different. They will have changed significantly from the time they left home just a couple months ago. The season of change will be drastic as it is for all of us. They left at an age that is considered an adult but we knew there was so much they didn’t know about life on their own yet. They will come home and be still growing but noticeably more mature, more seasoned and aware. The childhood silliness, sticky hands and flowers will be gone but we’ll still see traces of it. They will need us even if they don’t say so aloud. We’ll see it, feel it and instinctively know.
Moms know when their children need them and even when they are adults by age or maturity there is still a connection that I hope is still strong. That connection so they know you are still their mom and they can reach for your hand and pick you flowers and tell you their heart.
The truth is while we know everything changes, including us and our children, they are still our children and we can endure this season of change as it evolves to enjoy the change while recognizing it is beautiful and yet bittersweet.
Going through change is not easy. We will crave the days of simpler times when they were small and we could protect them. We will miss the times they were with us everywhere we went. We will enjoy getting their texts just to say hi and those visits home. We will treasure those times they need us and we can help them.
Emotionally raising children and watching them go out in the world is difficult. Moms do a lot for their children preparing them for that time but inside we face our own challenges in that process. It isn’t easy and it’s not always possible to stop those tears from falling. Even now I have times where I just cry at the amount of change that has occurred already for my son and he is only 8!
Working through these changes with support of our emotions and grace for what is going on in our lives is key. I frequently will diffuse and apply the doTERRA Aromatherapy Emotional oils for help. I am always amazed how well these simple oils ease the pain in my heart. I may have to go through change but I don’t have to have it all hurt in the process. My go-to is a little doTERRA Peace on my neck and over my heart. It’s warm, comforting and soothing. I can look at things calmly and realize it’s just a change and I’ll be ok. So will my son.
Living natural on your terms means you know when and how nature can support you through changes like seasons and watching our children grow. It won’t stop it but it can make it easier to endure. It can provide that support, comfort, strength and courage to see it with an eye towards beauty.
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