A short time ago I was driving across town and thinking about my kids. They are all grown up now and have moved away. Their lives are in full swing with jobs, babies and the obligations that are a natural result of living. I was thinking about how much I miss them and yet how lucky we were that the kids were leading happy successful lives, each in their own way. The sadness I felt at that moment reduced me to tears.
Life is funny, isn’t it? I can vividly remember those days when my husband and I were in the middle of raising our kids and juggling careers. Even a few moments of peace and quiet were dreamed of and coveted. How often I found myself wishing if I could only have a day to myself without any demands or expectations from anybody, what sheer bliss that would be.
It only feels like it was yesterday.
Now my husband and I have all the time in the world. We talk and reminisce about those days and how we worried about their welfare and the mortgage at the same time. Hoping and praying that it would all work out. Wondering out loud if we would get them successfully launched out into the world.
That’s when it dawned on me intuitively, we were no longer relevant to our children. They were doing exactly what they should be doing. They are living their lives and raising a family. We have faded into the background.
I felt guilty then. I should be happy that the kids are happy, right?
Yes and no.
Truth be told I miss the chaos. I miss the flap of running around and keeping the household on schedule, meals, homework, programs and activities. I miss the noise of having the kids and all their friends dropping in. I miss waking up on the weekends and making a million pancakes for all the kids that slept over. Believe me, there were a lot of kids. I miss sitting together at dinner laughing, sometimes arguing, my husband helping the kids with homework, while I cleaned up. The silence around the house has become deafening.
It dawned on me then that we had done the same thing to our parents. We became so busy living that we forgot about them. Now I understood my mother-in-law insistence that we come for a visit once a month. It annoyed me because it was just one more thing added to the list, but we respected her wishes. My parents, on the other hand, never called or asked for anything. That annoyed me too. It made me feel as though we didn’t matter anymore. What I didn’t understand was that they too were struggling with this same awareness of no longer being relevant to us.
That really dropped deep into my soul.
A few weeks ago, I was sharing this little insight with a friend when she mentioned that she was going through the same thing. She had written a poem about it. She has very graciously agreed to share it in my article. You will find it below.
These little emotional vignettes we go through are breakthroughs in conscious awareness. They are important. Yes, they are painful but just think how it changes your perspective of things.
On the one hand, I believe it is important to let our children go. They have to grow up sometime and it should be on your watch. On the other hand, I had someone say to me once that her children had the audacity to do exactly what she expected of them. They grew up and became independent. We laughed for a long time about that. It makes you feel pissed off and happy at the same time, doesn’t it?
Having said that, however, I am of the opinion that it wouldn’t hurt for the little cherubs to call home once in a while. I tell my kids we won’t call you, but it would be nice if you called us every few weeks to make sure we are still alive. I think that is fair and so far, that seems to be working.
Maybe it is time for you to give your parents a call. Say thank you and let them know that they still matter. Your children are listening.
By Margo Kendall
They don’t tell you about
this part of motherhood-
The part where you become totally irrelevant
To your children.
You stop waiting for the calls
that have stopped coming.
Their lives are busy –
hunting and gathering so that
more stuff can accumulate
more courses taken
more trips enjoyed.
Their lives are busy and exhausting
with kids and jobs and just living –
there is no time
for coffee with mom
or long chats over dinner.
Their absence in your life
is so, so painful –
But what is there to say?
If their time is not
a gift freely given
why would you want
to be pencilled in
to their busy schedules?
Let it go
Let them go
Your role as mother is well and truly over.
Love them from afar-
Send them wished for
health and happiness
and know that
when they are old
and if they become irrelevant
They will finally understand…your silence.
Atherton Drenth is a clairvoyant medical intuitive and the author of Intuitive Dance. Building, Protecting & Clearing Your Energy, (Llewellyn Worldwide) and Following Body Wisdom. Atherton also appears in the documentary, Voyage to Betterment as one of 12 experts along with other internationally renowned physicians, researchers, and pioneers in the fields of consciousness research and spirituality.