Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Heartbreak Hill of Parenting

For those of you familiar with the Boston Marathon, you know about Heartbreak Hill in Newton, it is the last of four gruelling hills in a row and only 5 and 1/2 miles to the finish line. Raising three older teens is the Heartbreak Hill of Parenting. Even with kids who bring joy and don't cause us too much heartache (I don't care how well your kids are doing, you will go through something with your kids), it is the time of letting go and helping them to grow into adulthood, not perpetuate their adolescence. It is the time to press on, and press into the heart of Our Father who each of them will need to trust more and more. Grace said to me the other day, before this season of her life, "I could just trust you and dad and you had to trust God. Now, I have to trust God myself." Not an exact quote but that was the gist of what she was saying.

I am still very involved in my children's lives but this will decrease as it is meant to be. My role is always changing as my children (who really can no longer be called children) grow, mature and change. It is a wonderful thing as well as difficult. We want to continue to send our children out with blessings from Dan and me. Again, we are driven to our knees for wisdom. As the saying goes, it is hard to stumble while you are already on your knees. The road of childhood is very short and it has been completed by our oldest and the 2 younger are not far behind.

The beauty, grace and surprise of this journey is that I have been present for each stage of development and we have enjoyed laughter, tears, pain, joy and togetherness. I sat next to a mom with her infant (child #8) on the plane coming home from Florida with Grace last week. She was nursing her little one and I remember nursing Grace and humbled by the fact that God would give me the honor of being a mother. Linda Shepard, a mother I once knew gave me one of the greatest words of wisdom pertaining to motherhood when I was pregnant with Grace,

"Pregnancy is the ultimate in motherhood from birth on, it is a process of letting go."

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