A mother’s tears should be enough to heal the world of all its ills. I don’t remember the last time I cried for myself but I have certainly spent a lifetime of crying over, and for, and with, my children.
I think it is so hard to take the memories of those little babies, so reliant on us for everything, so innocent and sweet, and remove them from the large, imperfect adult standing in front of us. We know our children’s nature, even when we might not know all the details of their lives since they left home. We know their hearts. We know their shortcomings, their struggles … we know the building blocks that shaped their lives and will impact them always.
We don’t “get over” or “remove” injuries to our soul. We learn how to manage them, how to live with them . . . we survive. Suggesting people can remove that type of injury, or “heal” it, is as ridiculous as suggesting to someone who loses an arm in an accident that they can “heal” their arm or “get over it.” You lose a limb and you have lost it period. You learn how to adapt and go on with one less arm. You can accept Christ as your personal Saviour and be the most devout Christian – you still are not going to grow your arm back. It is the same with injuries to the soul. They are permanent. As mother’s we know the soul injuries our children carry.
I am sure my children have no idea how often I cry. I am sure they have no idea how much I love them and how even now, I just want to kiss them and make everything better.
There are so many dreams wrapped up in that newborn baby. Dreams of their happiness, their success, their lives full of loving and caring people when they enter the real world and find the real world is not the garden of Eden. We want our children to find partners and friends who will love them, support them, equal them and push them to be the best person they can be. As mothers, we know the importance of letting children forge those relationships without our interference. These are not our relationships. They are our child’s. And worse, a mother has to let go and allow her children to make mistakes and fail and find their own way doing things that they know are going to bring them more unhappiness. All you can do is stand on the sidelines and encourage, and be there, and hope they will survive and that in the end it will all fit together and make sense.
Sometimes you are very much a part of their lives, and sometimes you are to blame for everything, or you are forgotten by the sidelines as life becomes busy and complicated … but none of those roles ever impact one iota of the love you carry for them.
Your children are in your heart forever. There is no “not ” loving them. There is no way to stop the tears or the desire to fix their broken wings. We want to give them shelter. We would give them our own arm if it would work for them.
But we can’t.
And so mothers cry. And they hold on to the words they would want to say but know they mustn’t. They keep their hands in their lap because they can not reach out and steady the bike forever. They watch their children in pain and know that this is life and it is their journey and stepping in would do more to undermine their child’s sense of self than anything else.
And still, I ask myself why mother’s tears could not be collected and bartered with. Surely God could fill an ocean with the tears that we have cried. All I know is that my pillows are soaked and my nights last forever and a child of mine is hurting.