28 April 2010

My Baby, My Child, My Friend

Last night I learned that this Child Of My Heart is grown up now, even though she'll always be my baby.

Last night I had a heart to heart with her.  I called her just to talk. I miss her because she's away at Uni - all the way in Texas!  It's usually me supporting her, you know, with all the typical mom talk.  But, I was the one in need this time.  I tried not to "go there" because I hate to burden my kids with grownup stuff.  The time will come soon enough for that.  On this night, I just couldn't be the strong one.  I needed a friend.  A friend who knows me and my heart.  So I spilled it.  My baby girl listened.  She listened and listened.  She supported me and she encouraged me and her words dried my tears.  She said all the right things and helped me to see more clearly. She said the stuff that once, I may have said to her. She loved me unconditionally, with absolutely no agenda.   Last night, she became more than just my baby girl.  She became my friend.  

I'm not the type of mom who is their son's or daughter's friend when they're little.  I'm not their buddy or their pal.  They have their own buddies and pals.  They only have one mom.  I'm their mom.  I'm the voice of reason, their conscience while they are still growing one of their own.  I teach, I love, I live my life as an example.  I give unconditional love.  I remind them of where they come from and what is expected of them before they even know who they are.  I give them roots.  I show them faith and help them learn it for themselves.  Then when they are ready, I push them gently from the nest and let them fly.  Just a little at a time at first, but when its time and they are strong enough I step back and "Let God".  

I did this with Tara, my first child, my first daughter, and she's now a strong, beautiful young woman with a family of her own. You can read a story about my lovely girl right here at my post, There Are Those Who Think That Families Happen By Chance.  Along with her husband she is making her way in the world.  She still needs me.  We all need our moms sometimes but, now we are mother and daughter, and we are friends too.  Really good friends.  

And last night, I found out that my second daughter is flying away too.  She is grown up enough to stand on her own two feet.  She is about to graduate from University.  She stands strong in her values and her core beliefs and it has been a blessing every day watching her develop into the young lady she has become.  She's just beginning to fly and I look forward to being the wind beneath her wings for a while longer but, I found out last night that she is now grown up enough to be not only my daughter but also my friend.  My job leading her is done.  She has a life of her own and she is strong and brave and has wisdom beyond her years.  Holy cow!  All those times when she had those ipod buds in her ears while I was lecturing her, she was actually listening to me.  To all of you still raising little ones, see, there's hope yet!

Kate is my daughter of light. She knows who she is and what she stands for.  She's pretty fearless but, uses good judgement.  She radiates happiness and lives her life with joy.  She doesn't keep lists or worry unnecessarily or fret the small stuff, (unlike her mother).  She's not afraid of adventure and she's an eternal optimist and a loyal friend. I will always be her mommy, but I found out last night that I can also call her "friend".  

Kate is my baby girl with the golden curls (which she now tames into submission with a straightener).  Except when she beach bums it.  When she is surfing she lets it fly and dry free, and I love it that way.
Do you see the wisdom in those big brown eyes?  Even here, when she was only three years old.  Really, look deep into them.  It made her an easy kid.  She was a joy to raise up.  If you want to get to know Kate you can read a post I wrote about her called Simply Kate  And if you have a really, really, really, lot of time go check out 22 Things I Know About Kate.  If you only want to read about remodeling the cottage, you're gonna have to come back tomorrow or the next day to see the newest pics.  I'm busy bragging about, sharing my daughter with you here.  

These are my original 5.  I talk about them often but since I haven't yet been able to figure out how to put pictures on my sidebar,  I'm sure everyone gets them a bit mixed up in my stories and has no idea who I'm talking about.  So for those of you who want to know, here they are.  Left to right:  Dylan, Maggie, Tara, Cooper and Kate.  I'd use fake names to protect the innocent but, they're not all that innocent.

Last Christmas all the in-laws and outlaws, the husbands and grandkids were all occupied elsewhere.  So I got to go to Mommy Bliss.  I got to have all 5 of my kids, all to myself, for a whole night.  It's never happened before and it may never happen again.  Not that I don't wish for it to but, everybody is growing up.  Fast.  There aren't too many opportunities as you moms out there may know, to have them to yourself when they get older. They're all about their peers and getting lives of their own soon enough. "Waaa, waaa, waaa.  My nest is almost empty says the momma bird".  

When they are little, you wish for that one moment you can get all for yourself.  I used to sneak off and try to take a bath alone when suddenly, on the other side of the locked door, I'd see little fingers poking there way under.  Then the little voice, "Mommy, I NEEDS you."  Mommying is a grueling job.  It can suck the life right out of you It takes a tremendous amount of energy and dedication.  It is a 24 hour a day gig and It poops you out.  

People tell you all the time that your kids are going to grow up too fast.  They tell you to appreciate what you have while you have it because soon it will change.  It will change so much you may not recognize it.  I've said it on more than one occasion to anyone I could force to listen to me for any amount of time new mommies, and even to some of you out there! That's the great part of writing a blog.  It's kind of (kind of except when you click x and I'm gone), like having a captive audience.  But, what they say true.  It's oh, so, true.  Time flies...

For a fleeting moment last Christmas, when everybody else had somewhere else to be,  I had all of these goof balls to myself once again.  I loved every second of it.  They made me laugh 'till I cried.  They made me beam with pride from the inside out. 

Note to my hubby:  we done good baby.  We done good.


Tina said...

Tia! I am sitting here on the other side of the world with tears streaming down my face. Your children are all beautiful. As the very lucky mother of 3 daughters myself, you are such an inspiration to me and I hope that I can be the kind of Mum to my girls when they are older, that you are to yours... You are so right in saying 'you done good'!! You done VERY good!! Wishing you and your gorgeous family the loveliest day sweet Tia ~ Tina XX

MissKris said...

Yay...I got your comment box to open for me this morning!! So you have a Kate and you have a Dylan and you have a Cooper, too! Our Kait is a Kaitlin and usually goes by Kaitlin but every now and then I slip and call her Kait. What a great post. And, dear heart, you sure don't look 55...at least I think you mentioned that recently? There's got to be something about living in southern Cal that makes a woman ageless, ha! I'll have to email a photo of me to you sometime...I've been silvery-haired since I was 35. And my Kaitlin is 33 now and she's my friend, too...aren't we blessed?? I wasn't close to my own mom so I always hoped and prayed I'd do it right with my daughter and forge a close and happy bond.

MissKris said...

P.S...and it looks like your Dear Hubby is still the light of your world, too. We're blessed there as well.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...


'nuff said.

beachhouse etc. said...

what a great inspirational read...i only have one tried to have more but it didnt work out none the less i am blessed and it looks like you are also...suzanne

Bossy Betty said...

What a wonderful post! You capture so many emotions here that we all share as moms. It IS wonderful to watch your children grow, but how we miss those times when they were small. Love the picture and so glad you had that great night together!

Anita said...

I love this post, and you and your hubby have clearly done good!
I also need to be reminded that my 16 year old twin daughters will be growing up and going away to school soon enough and like you, I pray they come back to me, to by my friend,and to need me just a little.
So well done, thanks.

bermudabluez said...

You two have done good!! What a wonderful family you have!! I love my time alone with my daughter also....she is my only child. She is 24 now with a house and a car and a guy....she's got her wings and is learning to fly! I, too, am proud. So proud of her.

Thank you for this inspirational post!!

Jenny said...

You two did more then good. You did AMAZING! What a lovely family. Your post really touched my heart. I'm glad you have these lovely people all around you.

Sally Lee by the Sea said...

You're an inspiration to others...great job.

You have a beautiful family - my daughter got married last year and I've missed her very much but the time we spend on the phone or in person is even more special now as we have become great friends.

Love to you and your family.


tales from an oc cottage said...

Love to hear someone say that they are not their child's "pal"...but **shock** their mother! Good for you!

m ^..^

Donna said...

Hello from Texas!
What a Beautiful family!! I'm 58, 2 kiddos and 4 Grans...I wouldn't change a thing...
Have a great day!

BONNIE K said...

Yes, your family is just beautiful, and I love what you wrote about your daughter.

NanaDiana said...

I have a "cottage by the bay" that we finished about 3 years ago. I re-modeled and rehabbed 13 houses to get to this one-lol. I have lived out of cardboard boxes and had kids that ate caulk and one swallowed a nut (the bolt kind)...I get it. Today I am mother to 4 (my oldest daughter is Tara too-but I call her TPot in my blog) and I have wonderful, wonderful, blessings to my heart grandchildren! I found you through the sidebar of Blooming on Bainbridge (is that right) and I don't know how to get any of those pictures of family etc. on my sidebar yet either-lol. Love your blog~ NanaDiana I am leaving you a link to my start up blog- at least I think I am....you will have to copy & paste because I don't know yet how to make a click take you there...http://thenanadiana.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

This post has me in tears, my baby girl is 19 months and what a beautiful thing to imagine being her friend one day when she is grown. I hope we can do as good as you 2 have done with your wonderful children! I found you from a comment on SITS! Hope you can stop by to see my Bitsy Babies =)

fairmaiden said...

This is so so true! You write about it so clearly. I am so glad you commented on my blog today...I have missed so much here! Now I've got you added to my blogroll...so I won't miss anymore. My kiddos(LOVES OF MY hEART) are almost 20,18,16,and 14!!! And it has gone by way way too fast. Just last year I was home educating them...meaning they surrounded me 24/7...now I'm all alone:( I miss them, but love them growing more independent and fluttering from the nest. Sometimes it's high stress(like my 18yr. old daughter just leaving and living with a friend...not the right way to leave the nest, but she will fly back soon enough...we are praying she will) Your children are all so beautiful and that wonderful Cottage By The Sea you are building will be filled with their laughter on their many many visits...our new garden pathways are not just for us, but for future grandchildren to explore on.