could all think back to our childhood, we would remember times of those aching
body parts that were so desperately trying to grow and become the adults we are
being said, takes me back to my grade school, Dora Erickson to be exact, it was
the best school in the area in my mind because it had the best playground ever.
The property the school was on was huge and the school was set towards the back
of the property so it was a long walk from the parking lot. You could either
walk the long sidewalk or like myself chose to walk through the somewhat hilly
terrain. I remember some days I had terrible growing pains in my
legs and it was difficult to walk to school but in my mind the monkey bars and
the swings would win every time. I was talking with my mom about this memory
and she said it broke her heart to watch me walk and know how much I was
hurting. She said when she would come to pick me up from school that even
though I limped coming out of the school, she noticed I always had a big smile
on my face. Little does my Mother know, It was because I saw her there waiting
for me and I was so glad to be going home to my family and finally be done
with, what seemed to be an eternity, at grade school.
remember my first experience of going to college and feeling the
aching for my family. I only was 30 miles away from home but it
might as well have been 30,000. ...It would have felt the same. In those
days, long distance phone calls cost a pretty penny so I was limited to one call
per week. I lived for that call and would hang on to every word from my
family. I would also go home most weekends and inhale every minute I had there.
I was so homesick that I felt pain in my chest as mom or dad would drive
me back to school.
couple years after college I was sitting with my Mother in my beautiful wedding
dress and she was holding my hand feeling the anxiety of her daughter and saw
the tears and she said to me, "Are you sure you want to go through
with this? It is not too late to cancel. It is better to call off a wedding
that go through a divorce.” ...Less than 3 years later she was holding my hand
again and hugging me and said, “I wish I could take this pain away for you.
I would do anything to do that for you.” This was of course after I experienced
a divorce and had to move home once again.
Once the growing pains of divorce had been healed, I again, being the free spirit that I am, felt the need pack up and
go find myself. I filled my 2 seater car with everything I could and left just enough room to see out of the front windshield in order to drive. I waved goodbye to my family and drove1000 miles to theSeattle area where I still live today 23 years later. The first year was very lonely but I was determined to find my life and happiness. Twelve months to the date of leaving, I was given the greatest joy of my life. ...My beautiful baby girl.
I didn’t necessarily do things the "right way" or the"preferredway"
because I was now a single mother. I had a huge responsiblyand I
truly embraced being a mom. When my daughter was abouttwo years
old, we were in the mall and the growing pains I wasfeeling
at that time in my life was not for me but for my
girl. Forthe first timein my life when I saw the “gothic” looking teenagershanging out together I felt the pains of fear for what my beautifullittle girl was going to have to face in the upcoming years. Iremember thinking at that moment, "I finally, FINALLY see through theeyes of a mother and feel the pains I
must have put my own Momthrough."
The next big marker of growing pains for me was the day, justthis past summer, when my daughter
came to me and said shehad found a place
and was "moving out." She said, "It is timeMom." I thought
I was so ready for this day but it hit me like abullet.
After all isn’t that what we want for our kids? We raisethem
so they can take care of themselves and be responsibleright? I
helped her as much as she would let me and as the lastitems were
taken from my home and moved into my daughtersnew and really
cute duplex, I hugged and kissed her and droveoff. With tears in my eyes and looking into my rear view mirror as my daughterand her new home faded into the distance, again I couldn’t help but to think this must have been how my own Mother felt.When I finally reached my home, which now had a feeling of being so empty,all
I could hear and experience was the echoes ofmy daughter’s childhood
and the growing pains I felt that I shouldhave done
better. As I went into her empty lime green room thatwe had
painted together, all I could do is cry and tried so hard toembrace
all the memories I had of her and our life together.
The very next day was one of the best memories I have of my own Mother. I called my Mom
and we talked for hours. My Mother simply just listened to me as I poured out my own fears, heartache and sadness since my daughter had just moved out. One of the
best things she ever said to me was this…
“ Ang we spend our entire life to teach our
children to become responsible good people. It is like the birds…the mother
bird builds a nest for her babies and then she teaches them and feeds them and hopes that the day they can make it to the edge of the nest that they can FLY.
Your daughter is flying and not only flying but soaring”.
Those words have been in my head ever since she said that and I felt some relief from the growing pains of motherhood after my long talk with my own mother. This led me to want to make my daughter’s room into my own boutique. …I started with new paint and on those lime green walls were paintings of flowers and rainbows that my daughter had painted. I kissed each of those paintings as I covered them up with the new paint. I transformed my daughters teenage lime green room to a black and white with zebra print high heeled shoe chair and hints of red boutique for myself. I have to thank my brother Jim who found and purchased the amazing high heel chair for my new room. Even my daughter said after I was done it is now the most fabulous room in the house.
This leads me to the
hardest growing pain of my life. The growing pain that, if
we all live long enough, we all will face death. …This past year I experienced the
passing of my sweet beautiful all knowing Mother. The pain I have
felt from this is like no other. …Hard to explain in words what
you feel. At first, I wanted the entire world to know
that my mom had died. Why were these Hollywood
stars getting all the fame and acknowledgment? My mom is certainly more
important than those people. I now hang on to every word my mother spoke
and realize that even those words that came across judgmental or harsh were
actually pleading me to live right. She saw my worth and didn’t want me to fall
short. …I see her face looking at me across the dinner table and saying “Don’t
you want to be a family forever? You know what is right and I don’t want to
lose any of my children.” I took that so wrong due to my youth at the time, but I now know
it was just a statement of love for her family. My growing pains are not over and my love for my mother will never die. It will
only continue to GROW! This is the text
message I received from my Mom the day after we talked on the phone
and when my girl moved out:
"Hi Honey ...Hope the sun is shining and the birds are singing
especially sweet for you today. You are loved and appreciated by all of
us! Love and hugs, Mom OX."
Now with the growing
pains of age starting to set in, I can sit back and smell the
roses a little more, remember the blessings, the love and laughter, and actually reminisce, cry and enjoy my GROWNING PAINS!