He slams the door behind him, my oldest son, on his way to his fifth year college courses. He doesn’t say *good-bye*…he is in his usual self-absorbed state. I whisper a Hail Mary as I watch him walk down the street to the train. I ask Mary to keep him in her motherly embrace. “Don’t let him go…” I say. “He’ll be back…someday, my son will come back to your Son.”
I smirk when I think back to the worries that consumed me when they were much younger…are they eating the right foods? Getting enough sleep? Know their ABC’s? Shouldn’t they be toilet trained by now?
Ha…I would trade those worries in a heartbeat for the ones that burden me now.
What worst worry can a mother have than the thought of their child’s soul in immortal danger? This is a burden that weighs the heart heavy and I dare not dwell on it too long for it will pull me into darkness, despair, hopelessness.
Those sleepless nights of nursing and rocking seem like pure paradise right now. Where did they go?
I have to trust, surrender. My prayers and tears are not in vain.
And yet I have to fight the urge to rewind everything, to desire to do everything over again…did I miss something? I know I could do better a second time around with all this knowledge and wisdom I have gained.
But they would still grow…grow up, grow away…free to choose…and a mother still experiences one of the greatest pains…letting go…watching them fall…again and again…stumbling to find their way…grasping…wanting to sweep them up in our arms again and protect them…shelter them…keep them safe…
…a flashback to toddler years. Again, the letting go…to watch them totter and fall and stumble, again and again…getting back up again for another feeble attempt sometimes falling into our open arms. This is how they practice, learn.
Are we called to do any less than our Lord? Does our Lord do any less than this: whispered prayers, waiting~arms open, watching us fall, stumble, find our way, getting up again, forgiving, love unconditional…waiting…waiting…loving…
…as I watch my 7 yr. daughter old fall asleep, I pray…again…that I don’t mess up too bad along the way hoping I have gained more wisdom raising three older children…and I rest consoled that I don’t have to let go…just yet…
(The above print, Jesus with Lamb, hangs in my bedroom. It is one of my favorite sketches. It can be purchased through Jesus Art USA)