The Art of Being a Mom
When my daughter was 13-years old, she started to master the longboard, a kind of board larger than its counterpart the skateboard. She had fun with her friends going downhill, racing, and using it as transportation. The year she started coasting the streets with her longboard, our family spent Christmas with my in-laws in Atlanta where the streets are not as flat as they are in Florida; as a matter of fact, they are very “hilly” since the city is located in the foothills of the southern Appalachians Mountains. My daughter was determined to use her longboard in that terrain. Performing one of her tricks, she missed her footing. The poor girl ended up hitting the ground hard and even though she didn’t break any bones her ego took a beating. We bandaged her scrapes and gave her a hug until the next day where she was once again performing her tricks in the mountainous terrain of her grandparent’s neighborhood.
Being a mom is an art because on one hand, we are biting our lips as not to implode of anxiety with our children’s latest ventures, on the other, we are speaking life and hope into their ears so they don’t get discouraged. A mother has the ability to treat the body, soul, and spirit of her children simultaneously without neglecting one for another. A mother lets her children take risks without putting them in danger; allows them to experience frustrations without letting them give up; gives them independence without licentiousness; trust without neglect.
A mother cries and laughs; punishes and praises; feels the hurt and the excitement with the accomplishments or disappointments of her children. Being a mother is a demonstration of excess within defined boundaries. She laughs, praises, and is elated because she is proud and wants to develop her children’s self-esteem; she cries, punishes and hurts because she wants her children to develop character.
When the voice of one of her children is silenced, the mother stands up for them. She pays for piano lessons so they can develop discipline, patience, and wake up their emotions and she enrolls them in sports so they can learn coordination, control, and teamwork. A mother seeks the success of her children, but not at the expense of the weak. In the process, a mother always teaches compassion without allowing abuse. Her life is not involved in her own needs, but in that of her kids.
Being a mother is an art. Science is based on explanations and predictions. But a mother does not treat her children as an experiment in a laboratory with measures and predictions because each child is different and so are the circumstances, emotions, and situations. A mother’s answer is “yes and no,” “it depends,” “sometimes,”… but when is it yes and when is it no? A mother knows, because she knows her child, the circumstances, the emotions, and the situations.
So continue being a mother, a guide, a counselor, a protector, and a lawyer until your children are ready to face the world and unleash their full potential. Acknowledge that your only reward is their inner health, which will become evident when you are no longer there to give them a bandage the days they are doing their tricks on the sidewalks of life.