If only life were as simple as it was then. You could explain things to them easier because they were blank slates waiting for input. They wanted boundaries and guidelines. And, I am so thankful they had them.
I do miss those simple days when they would come up to me with a hand stretched out, tears running down their faces and all it took was a kiss from Mama to make it all better.
Ethan was so afraid to go to school when he started because he said, "I will miss you cause you won't be there." So, one of the routines we got into was me kissing the palm of his hand and then I would close his fingers over the spot and tell him "when the missing gets really bad, you will have a kiss from me to make it better." And, just that little gesture made such a difference.
But, they are not babies anymore. Unfortunately, a kiss doesn't fix the hurts of grown up lives. Oh, how I wish it did. If only I could kiss broken hearts and make them all better. If only I could mend the hurt with my arms.
Even when I made the hurt happen.
One of the hardest growing up lessons I ever had to learn was that my parents were human. I can still feel the way that made me feel.
I hate my own children have ever hurt at my hand, from my actions. Nothing is as bitter as disappointment and sometimes that bitter taste never leaves the palate and it provides a seasoning for every interaction that follows if we allow it to.
When you are wounded by the one who you trust as much as a parent it will throw you in a tailspin. How can this paragon of virtue and love fail?
When my children were small and they would come in from school with hurt feelings or pride I would put my arms around them and we would talk about what had happened. And throughout the years I could hear those conversations echoed back to me as they spoke of situations.
I cannot imagine what it would have been like if they had come in hurt, looking to me for love and I would have pushed them away. What if they had come to me crying and bruised and instead of a kiss I would have scolded them, pushed them away and left them to deal with their pain? Not to say we did not talk about how and why they were hurt and why they should not go there again it do whatever again or be around whoever again.
But, when they came to me broken, I was there to love them in spite of the cause.
And, today in their grown up lives if I saw one of them standing on the edge of a cliff, dangerously close to falling in, I would reach out and draw them closer, not push them farther away and possibly risk losing them forever.
I have been lost lately. Scrambling around. Hurt and disoriented. And, I have made mistakes and I have failed. But, my love for those babies goes on even though they are no longer babies. I hope that they never forget my love.