I got tears in my eyes as I watched my fifth grader walk into school today — her little girl legs having morphed into pre-teen legs, her former bobbed hair now in a mature bun, a pseudo message bag slung casually across her chest. I got emotional not just because she‘s growing up, but also because of who she’s growing into.
In the fourteen months since my mother passed away, I have been in many ways a small boat without an anchor bobbing from shore to shore trying to get my bearings. I’ve explored every possible remedy for grief from God to girlfriends. I’ve added yoga, music, candles and more books into my life, tried to reduce stress and add more people who give me positive energy. And while I’m still searching, I now see a path that makes the future much clearer for me.
“Have the relationship I have with you with your girls,” my mother said to me one day squeezing my hand with as much energy as she could muster from her hospital bed in the middle of my living room. At the time, I filed her words in the back of my mind as a nice sentiment, but now I realize they were prophetic. Her example has become my destiny.
So, I am trying one day, one hour, one moment at a time to be present and engaged with my daughters so that we can hopefully develop that relationship I had with my mother. I don’t know if it’s working, but some days I get clues that it just might be.
“I’m so proud of you,” I said to my youngest the other night hugging her tightly as we both basked in the glow of her very first swim meet.
“I’m so proud of you too, Mommy,” she replied, muffled, her head buried in my chest.
“Why?” I said, momentarily stunned by her kind words.
“Because of everything you do for our family.”
Thanks, Mom, I said silently to myself as I once again felt the sting of tears well up in my eyes.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.