I had a different kind of Mother's Day last week. Our oldest daughter graduated from college. She has earned honors and awards in connection with her academic work, and is preparing her thesis for publication. Here is the kicker - She was offered a full time job with benefits last month, and begins work in the Honors College this week. A Humanities Major with full time employment in this economy. Now that's a miracle.
Our other daughter was able to take us to several exhibits where she has her artwork on display. We were able to see her works in progress in the studio. She shared with us her idea for a project that could impact millions of people. It might take time, and effort getting many people involved. All great things do. But she has it in her to be able to do this.
Another miracle in the making.
Each moment of being a mother has the potential of bringing great joy or deep heartache. There is nothing that can teach you more about love, forgiveness, repentance, trust, and enduring than connecting yourself completely to another life, unconditionally, for the rest of your life.
There is a risk that children will choose to turn away from all you have offered them. There is a risk that they will not forgive you for the mistakes you made (Yes, all parents make plenty of them). There is a risk they will choose to do things that will cause them pain, which causes you pain. There is a risk that others will hurt them, which hurts you.
It is very likely that you will do the best you can, and your children will grow up becoming capable adults. They will make mistakes, and forgive you for yours. They will go through difficult times, their own heartaches, and become stronger for it. They will remember that you use your days to learn and grow and try to make a difference in this world. They will see that they can settle for getting by, and be fine with a basic level of happiness, or they will realize that there is a greater joy and deeper love possible.
In other words, their life will unfold pretty much the way yours did.
Each Mother's Day tends to remind me of all this. Some reminders are painful, some joyful.
This year was no different. I don't know if I enjoy the joy that much more because I know the pain. I do know it is all part of me being a mother.
That is something I hope I never graduate from. There is always a higher degree to pursue.