Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Independence Day

Practically everything I do is for them. This has been true for 20 years now, ever since my son made me a mother. People wrestle with their purpose in life, but I don't, really. As soon as I had children, I understood that they were my purpose, and my supreme goal is to help them launch their lives in the best way possible, to help them grow to be good and caring people, able to take care of business and of themselves, even as I labor to craft a net under them that makes them unafraid to soar. I always felt that my parents did that for me. I was an emotional sort, full of internal storms, but somehow, I always knew they were there, a port I could go to if all else failed. Just knowing that meant that all else never failed, a beautiful irony. But now, as my children get ready to fly, I am beginning to understand my purpose and devotion to them in a new way. The best thing I can do for them now is to fill my own life with interesting pursuits, to keep growing and doing and being, not through them or for them, but for myself. This is what they need from me now, from my husband and me. This will be the source of the freedom they need to navigate the next stage. My own next act will be born in that freedom, too.


  1. Oh I like that. They will too, you got it right. Excited for you and your new tack.

    p.s. I've moved.

  2. The look in your daughter's eyes in that photo goes so perfectly with this post. What brave and bittersweet words --

  3. It's a complex time of life, angella. I thought I had been oh so clever; literally moved the day after my son graduated from high school, was all set to start my new life. A few year's later it hit me in the back of the head. So, it's great that you are starting down this road with heightened awareness. It's an adventure; gear up, my friend!

  4. Deirdre, your new home is lovely, but what made you decide to start fresh? And is that your artwork? It's so vibrant and rich. Would love to see more.

    Elizabeth, the look in her eye caught me, too. bless your mother heart for noticing it.

    susan, wow! what brought on the kick in the back of the head years later? you have a book in you, friend.

  5. When my first daughter left for college I thought I had it all figured out. I still had two at home and lots of creative pursuits to keep me busy. I was wrong. You cannot prepare for this event. You have to let it sweep you along in it's current and gently deposit you on a new shore. Victoria leaves in less than 4 weeks. And you are totally right....our purpose is to provide them with a loving and secure place from which to launch the grand adventures of their own making, their own choices, their own life. I am also looking forward to stoking my own fire, my own adventures, my own next chapter. A new shore awaits us all!

  6. From the minute they are born, the lesson we are teaching them -- the most important and most difficult lesson -- is how to be independent. And as long as we, the parents, are alive, we continue to teach that.

    It ebbs, it flows, and we flow with it.

    Blessings to you and your beautiful children.


  7. Kathleen, i will meet you on that shore! love to you.

    T, you inspired me to change the title of my post. Yes, independence in all its definitions is what we want for them, and yet in the end, no one of us does this alone. such a dance, this life. thank you. xo

  8. Angella, when I first saw this photo on Google Reader the other day, I clicked on it and it didn't open. So I thought that you posted it and then removed it. And now I'm clicking over and see that it was here on Wednesday. I feel bad that I wasn't timely.
    Once again, I see your two as the grown up version of John and Claire. It really is freaky! The two are coming home today from the beach and I can't wait to see them. Johnny called yesterday letting us know that he caught a shark. How cool is that? Okay, it was only 18" but it's still cool. Claire calls just to tell us that she loves us. They will be home this afternoon and, of course, there will be yelling and doors slammed and dirty clothes in heaps on the floor... But, I will think of you and try to remember that this is what dreams are made of. Thank you keep drilling that into me.
    Sorry for writing so much. This is what happens when I don't write on my on Blog. I hog up other Blogs with my rambling.
    Your Friend, m.

  9. Dear Mark, you can ramble in my comments anytime! And you'll miss the dirty clothes and noise when they go to college so enjoy it while you can! Love to you and your beautiful family.

  10. What a lovely pair of young people. Yes, you are doing the right thing. They'll come back sometimes and be glad you're happy.

  11. You are the real deal my sweet friend.
    Through and through.

    I am a mother first and always, but the transitions are beautiful and exciting in their own way. Sometimes they don't happen as I plan them, but there is always a beauty rising if I just let things be and be open to it , you know.

    I feel honoured to be able to witness and be the better person , living alongside you and your incredible family , just as it is here in blogland.
    All the better if we could break bread together . Someday!

    love to you.

  12. Your children are so well-loved. It is absolutely apparent in their eyes that they are both grounded AND ready to soar. You and your husband have done a great job of preparing them for flight.

    I know how hard it is, my sweet friend. Parenting, is the only job when if done correctly, we are left behind. But, they will always need us, they will always come home, and we will always be their only mommas. And still, it stings.

    Your words are so heartfelt and true. I am here to share this part of the journey with you, my sister. We can do this and do it well!

    So much love,