Once up a time, my delightful daughter was an adorable toddler. She was cute as a bug and, except for a fierce independent streak, she was as loveable and cuddly as could be.
Like most toddlers, Kelsey wore diapers. As I recall we started potty training her a little before her second birthday, but she was probably closer to three before she was 100% accident free.
I don’t remember the specific day or incident when we knew that she was finally/completely done with diapers, but when we finally reached that all-important parenting milestone I am certain that I did not A) start a blog in which to pour out my feelings and/or B) spiral into an existential meltdown. No, as I recall, Tripp and I celebrated Kelsey’s accomplishment with pride and jubilation. And in addition, when I realized that I would no longer be required to change diapers, not one time did I doubt my usefulness as a mother.
So…fast forward about 15 years…
I think the last year and a half of blog posts pretty much speaks for itself.
Why didn’t anyone tell me that, just because my daughter was going to college, it wouldn’t mean that I stopped being a mom?
Oh yeah…that’s right….you did.
Well why didn’t you make me listen?
Hmmmm…. fiercely indpendent….I have no idea where Kelsey get’s it.
All joking aside though, the past month or so has been pretty rough for my sweet girl – she’s had some big decisions to make. And it’s been so hard for me (and Tripp of course) because we can’t make the decisions for her. We can give her our honest opinions and counsel her the best we can, but she has to decide for herself. It’s like I told her on the phone last week, “This is big girl, real life stuff.”
One thing I’ve learned over the course of past week or so, is that although my day-to-day activities as a mom may no longer include doing her laundry or cooking her dinner, I still have an active role in my daughter’s life – it just looks a little different. For example, here are a few of the things I’ve done for my girl lately:
Anyone see a pattern developing here?
Seriously though, this last week has been a huge lightbulb moment for me. I’m still Kelsey’s mother and I still have work to do. It’s not just changing diapers and folding t-shirts…it’s real life, big girl stuff. And having this new kind of relationship with my daughter has been profoundly rewarding.
I am so proud of Kelsey for her faith and determination the past week. And just about the time I think that I can’t possibly love this child of mine any more, she finds a way to astound me with a wise-beyond-her-years grace and courage.
And I am so blessed that I get to be her mother.