Everybody has one, a moment when the pain becomes too much. No, we’re not talking about physical pain, or life’s little aches and injuries, we’re talking about a different kind of pain. This is the kind that settles deep into your heart and holds you captive for the rest of your life.
Over the years, I’ve known of parents who shun their children. They boot them out and tell them they never want to see them again. I’m not that parent. I struggle when I don’t hear from my kids for a day or a week, even knowing they’re okay and nothing is really wrong in their lives.
When I watch my children grow up and know that one day they’ll move out, move on in life and eventually have children of their own, I know my job is finished – in the sense of parenting. I realize I’m not a necessary part of their lives and they can grow and live without me. I’ve done my job well. All those tomorrows come rushing back and yesterday fills the air, and I know that life will go on. Then I think of the times I promised to take a child to the park, or swimming, or to play ball, and I wonder how many of those times they’ll remember. Will they know that I missed that moment too.
The work comes and stays. Too much for too long, and I realize how often I put aside that which is important to get the work done. The work needed doing too. But my babies needed loving more.
One day leads to another and the babies grow up all too fast.
The work? It’s still there. It still needs doing, and although most got done on time, and more came in to be done. I still think that I should have done more with my babies, and left the work lay.
Time passes and I know the moment of sincere pain, doesn’t mean the job isn’t finished… It means another baby, took another step away, and Mom is feeling the tug of little apron strings soon to come untied. Just one more little tug and off they’ll fly, each one moving one step closer to goodbye.