Friday, June 18, 2010

She Spoke My Heart

Last week, I had cause to email several friends, most of whom I knew were raising or had raised, adult children. I needed advice. Wisdom. Input. Opinons. I needed to know I'm not the only one puzzled, confused, scared and hurt.

There isn't a manual for this. There is no GPS. There isn't even a satisfactory *word* in our vocabulary for the "adult child". And I am lost.

I titled the email "The Paradox of Parenting Adult Children", because it is *such* a paradox. A tight-rope. A delicate dance.

And I am either the recipient of someone stepping on my toes, or I an unknowingly stepping on theirs. This is a heartbreaking, breath-holding time for me. Can we do this? Will they fly? Will they see and know the unfailing love I have for them.

Do they *see* the love at all?

My cyber friend, Sherri, wrote this piece in response to her own ponderings. She has a blog full of beautiful writing, photos and thoughts. She has two adult children, one teen and two "littles" adopted from China. She is a creative, engaged parent, whom I admire. In my opinion, she and I view children the same: fascinating little people puzzles, with unique thoughts, talents and tendencies to be admired, nurtured and rejoiced over with wonder and amazement.

Here is what she wrote (reproduced with her permission):

Lately they come to me,
smelling faintly of
smoke and leaves
and other people's cars.

They come
for renewal and validation,
they come begging,
like street performers
hiding behind
tricks, or grades or funny stories.
Aching for approval or more often,
for money,
willing me to open
the mother wallet
and let the spirits move
to finance their dreams,
or their snacks,
or gas for their car.

They come to me
all false bravado and devil may care
never knowing
I see
the trembling hand
or lowered shifty eyes revealing
haunted hurting hearts.

At night
they come to me
still needing some small goodbye ritual
and never knowing
I can still see them
all blankets and thumbs and small feet kicking.

They come
with more questions than answers.
tilling secret gardens,
proof they are growing away from me,
don't need me

But still,
they come.
Finding their way
in from the cold
They let me reach for their hand
For a moment
I pull them close and smell their hair
and know they are mine.

Behind stubble and bangs of a nameless color.
they still sweat grass and pool water and wind.
mixed with a secret scent we share,
branded onto my heart
from the first day
I knew them.

Even though they have again stolen my sleep,
overtaken all my prayers
and recklessly wrapped themselves up
in most moments of possible peace.
There is hope
down the hallway
they come.
To me.
To home.
hearts still open wide.

1 comment:

Dolores said...

Oh my.... how beautiful/insightful and the picture..... love it!!!