Saturday, February 10, 2007

They're going to be fine

I don’t think I’m unlike most any other mom “out there.”
*I love my kids tremendously, yet some days they drive me nuts and I want to run away from them.
*I want to fill their lives with wonderful memories of our times together, though sometimes I want them to simply leave me alone.
*My desire is to raise them to be God-loving, respectable human beings, however, some days I’m afraid I’m ruining them for life when I’m at my wits’ end and display a scowling countenance.
*I want to train them on the right path, but sometimes I am at such a loss for what to do!
*I want to be a “perfect” mommy. But I’m not, and I often fear my kids are going to pay the price for my failures.
Knowing this background, perhaps you can understand why I was so encouraged by my grandmother’s words to me this past week.

Especially since my grandfather’s death two months ago, my grandma and I have been spending quite a bit of time together. Sometimes we run errands. Sometimes I take her to appointments. Almost always, we go out to lunch. And without exception, I enjoy listening to her talk.
Lately, she’s been reflecting a lot about her childhood and I’ve been inspired by what a wonderful mother she had. My grandma is 89 years old. Her mother washed laundry for a family of seven without an automatic washer and dryer. She cooked and cleaned for all of them without the modern efficiencies I take for granted. She made yummy treats for all the kids to enjoy. Grandma said, “She worked hard, and she was tired. No wonder she went to be so early every night.” And I could hear the admiration and love in her words.

As I sat and listened I began to wonder, “What will my kids be saying about me and their childhood when they’re 89 years old?” I shared these thoughts with my grandma and told her about some of my insecurities as a mother, and my concerns that I’m messing my kids up through my failings.
She looked at me with all the kindness and sincerity she could and said, “They’re going to be fine, Karen. They’re going to be fine. The boys are a little rambunctious now. But they’re boys. They’re going to turn out just fine.” With those simple words, my grandma spoke volumes of encouragement to me.
It may be helpful for you to know, my grandma doesn’t mince words. She speaks her mind – sometimes leaving the listener wishing they were in another room. I love her dearly and have just learned to let some of her words slip past me with a smile and a nod. I always figure I can take her at her word, knowing she doesn’t cover up her true feelings.
It may also be helpful for you to realize my grandma dealt with many of the same frustrations I do. My dad and my son, Joshua, are very much alike – from their looks and habits to their quirks and personalities – so Grandma understands me when I talk about my hard times with Joshua.
That’s why it was so encouraging for me to hear her say she thinks my kids will be just fine. I’m going to continue to do my best, to seek God for wisdom and grace, to trust Him to carry me through mothering, and, yes, I’m going to continue to mess up sometimes. But as I do these things, I am going to also do my best to remember the words I found so dear this week. “They’re going to be fine.”


momteacherfriend said...

I would have to agree!

Angela said...

I've often said if my kids decide not to use their college funds for education, they can always use it for counseling...I'm only half kidding. I honestly wonder some days if I'm messing them up. Your grandmother's words are a wonderful encouragement.

Irritable Mother said...

Angela: College or counseling...which will it be? My mother-in-law has set up a college fund for each of my kids, too. It'll go to good use somehow! LOL

KarenW said...

We all have our days! Thanks for the encouragement.