Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Slipping through my fingers…"

"I watch them go
with a surge of that
well-known sadness,
and I have to sit down
for a while..."

Confession time. I was a mess. Blotchy face, burning eyes. And although Meryl Streep's performance of Abba's "Slipping Through My Fingers," from the film "Mama Mia," does it to me every time, I didn't need a prompt that night. All I needed to do was think of the girls turning 18 on Saturday, and it hit me once again.

You see, being their (and their sister's) mom for the last 18 years has been everything I ever dreamed of. Caring for each of them, growing with them, nurturing their dreams and watching them become the young women-of-substance that they are today, has been the most extraordinary gift of grace.

And I say gift, because they are just that -- a gift. As an adoptive mom -- who was asked to return her first child to his birthmother -- I understand the heartache of surrender. And because of this, I have never taken for granted what it meant for my daughters' mothers to have chosen adoption as a parenting plan for their beloved children. I have never forgotten that the girls' first mother was - and still is - a selfless, trusting, generous young woman. And I will never forget that choosing to let me care for her daughters - as their second mom - was the greatest gift I have every received.

On Saturday, I will surrender them to their own majority.  They will be women.  They will have been in my heart's womb for 18 years. They have grown stronger in the graces of Spirit, and I have been stretched into newness of heart -- one of deeper spiritual love and trust. The shape of my place in the world has expanded. I no longer see things through my own eyes alone, but through the lens of our children's relationship with the world they will navigate, inhabit, and bless.

Yes, the are slipping through my fingers -- but like water, they will continue to carry forward their own spiritual vision for serving humanity.  They will nourish, and refresh the world they share with their fellow beings.  That said, I still needed a focal point as I moved towards this milestone in our journey together.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy encourages her readers with this promise:

"Willingness to become as a little child
and to leave the old for the new,
renders thought receptive
of the advanced idea.
Gladness to leave the false landmarks
and joy to see them disappear, — 
this disposition helps to precipitate
the ultimate harmony. "

Today, I am holding on to this promise for dear life. Letting go of this chapter is not easy for me. I have loved it so much. I have loved being a mommy. I have loved doing their laundry, packing for camp, always knowing where they are, celebrating their victories, and sitting with them when their have hearts needed shared silence. I have loved our road trips and rodeos -- my funny little girls.  I have loved putting them first. I have loved them. I have love them with every fiber of my being. I will always love them  I will always be their mommy.

But you know, no matter how I tried to justify those feelings of melancholy, I couldn't reconcile them with what I know to be true, spiritually. In Truth, our children are not our children. They are His/Hers.  In fact, we are actually all the children of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the relationship that is changeless. This is the timeless role that we will play in one another's lives. This is the landmark I must fix my gaze on, and walk towards.

Again, I have found clarity in Science and Health. Eddy gives me something pure and clear to chart my course. She says in her definition of "Children," from the Glossary:

"not in embryo,
but in maturity..."

We are each fully formed in Love.  This spiritual maturity has been my touchstone throughout their childhood.  It has shaped my sense of what it means to parent.  It has allowed me to trust their wisdom and my own childlikeness.  We are, none of us, "in process." We all stand at the growing tip of spiritual self-discovery. They are ready. I am ready. And like the small bluebird babies that will soon stand on the edge of their world, and leap into flight with wings poised and courage undaunted -- so will we. As Meryl says in the above-linked clip:

"I wouldn't have had it
any other way.
My, God,
look at what we've had..."

I agree, with all of our ups and downs - tears and triumphs - I wouldn't have had it any other way. I am ready for this next path on our journey together as children of one supremely wise and loving God.  I am so grateful that we have been blessed with all the spiritual tools we will need to navigate these steps forward with Grace. As Eddy says:

"Press on.
The way is narrow at first,
but it expands as we walk in it."
- Mary Baker Eddy

If the steps we have taken together - so far - are any indication of the path we cannot yet see, the view will be beautiful, the companionship rich, and the days big with blessing.

with all my love -- and with Love,


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