The Texture of Life

My youngest child is about to graduate and move away to start college. Like most parents, I have mixed feelings. Of course, I am proud of him and excited that he is about to start this new chapter in his life. However, on the flip side, there is a sad mom that is scared and sad that her baby is leaving.

Being a mom has been the hardest and most wonderful role in my life. I adored my kids toddler days: their chubby little hands; their funny, never-ending questions; and their pure innocent and honest faces. Oh, how I miss those days.

Now, the teenage years were different. Their cute little hands were slamming doors, their questions were laced with attitudes and their faces had moments of downright guilt and contempt. Nonetheless, these stressful times were always smoothed over with laughter, hugs and discussion. Eventually. I had a front row seat to this self development. I witnessed, and experienced, thousands of little moments.

My memories with them are the glitter in mind. They make my past sparkle, even in my darkest of days. I laugh when I think about my four-year-old daughter pushing her newborn brother around in her baby doll stroller and watching her play mommy. Now, years later, she is still pushing him around, but in ways to motivate or uplift him.

I remember watching my little blond-headed boy sit up on his knees with such interest while watching the River Dance and asking him how he liked it afterwards. His little preschool answer was classic and still true to his character today: “The boy fight dance was cool. The girly dance was dumb.” Now, his favorite things are playing paintball and driving around in his car that has its own booming stereo and light show.

There are countless other stories to tell of course, as most parents can relate. Beautiful moments I will never forget and others that still bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could have protected my children from difficulty and sadness, but I know that is impossible. All these moments, good and bad, are part of life. And it’s all those little moments that we’ve shared that have woven the fabric of our lives. Like the best fabrics, a good life is rich in reality, according to Ralph Fienness.

” Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”

~ Ralph Fiennes~

I couldn’t agree more. Some of best memories are so very simple, yet…they are the best and most powerful. Many have built upon each other as well, forming something unique and wonderful. Not that I would wish some of the same pains upon my children, but surviving those things has made them who they are

If I were to change their past, would they still be the same? It’s hard to say and an answer I will never get. So all I can do is appreciate the young adults they are, and pray for the people they will become.

I pray that these little babies of mine will continue to blossom. I pray that they can learn to live in the moment. I pray that they can really the magnificent details in life. I pray that they can embrace the glorious textures of experience for what they are.

Overall, I hope they find happiness and come to appreciate just how wonderful they are. Though they are different, I can’t help but find both of them equally terrific, my little blooms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black & White.

 

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16 thoughts on “The Texture of Life

  1. Nice post; regrettably, we did not have kids so did not experience first hand what parents go through but I believe what you experienced is the Circle of Life. Your job was to plant and nurture the seed of a moral compass in your children then watch to see if it was calibrated correctly to guide them through life and one day they will find home to give back what they received in the way of respect and caring. Feel happy to let them spread their wings and discover the world out there; we all go through this consciously or not. Now you are an empty nester 🙂

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    • Thank you for your kind post. I try to remember not to smother them. It’s a fine line of giving them space and then too much space. Once my daughter said, mom, you haven’t called or visited yet. Why? She missed mom and that made me feel good that she wanted to see me, but then bad that I had left her neglected. Like you said, it’s the circle of life. I just hope I can stop getting dizzy while it spins.

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      • Ahhh; don’t confuse giving space with neglect and you won’t feel guilty. Squeaky wheel always gets the attention and makes you feel wanted. Surprise giving makes the gift special so when you want give do it when it’s least expected. 😉

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        • I was really just trying to give her space indeed. That, and I was slammed busy with my two jobs, lol. They were doing all the squawking so they got the attention for a bit until she said hey mom… And you are so right about the surprise gifts:)

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  2. Being a parent is one of the most difficult and rewarding things you can ever do. (Being married is another or maybe the other.) Our younger daughter graduated last weekend from art school, so now both our girls are out on their own. 🙂 Good times, but also scary sometimes.

    janet

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    • Congratulations on her graduation! I am sure you understand and I will soon too. Part happy/part sad. It is a scary world out there and so different from when we were their age. I just pray they are protected from any unnecessary hard experiences. Regular life is hard enough, so anything outside of that can really just stay away! Tomorrow is the big day, and I feel the tears already.

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  3. surviving those things has made them who they are — well said, Nato. Great post, thank you so much for sharing!
    Teens go through the growing pain, it’s hard for them, too.

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    • Thank you. Oh, I remember my angry teens well. That memory helped my kids as I would take a breath and pause as I tried to remember how I felt. Many times I would just let them vent or have their moment, then go hug them and walk away without a word. My daughter once said, “Mom, when you are quiet and don’t hug me, then I KNOW you are mad.” lol-she knew me well.

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    • Enjoy it while it lasts. Or at least take breaths through the hard parts. I know there were moments where I wondered who would survive: the tired parent or the angry teen. Fortunately, we both did and still love each other like none of those tense moments even happened.

      I think after some lamenting and wine…I will be fine. Maybe have more time for writing and studying up on photography techniques. Who knows, maybe that office/craft/exercise room could even get unpacked and organized from my move…in July of 2015. So, I guess I have things to keep me busy, lol.

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  4. Pingback: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Patterns in Architecture) | Lens and Pens by Sally

  5. Nato, I enjoyed your heartfelt commentary about being a parent and the joys and trepidations of this most difficult role in our lives. The comparison to flowers is apt, and mirrors stages that we move through in our lives. Happy Photo Challenge.

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