As a mother, I have felt every scrape of the knee, disappointment, illness, and heartache my children have endured. If one of them is sad, hurt, or unhappy, then, at some level, so am I. This continues now as they have grown into young adults, and I expect it will continue forever to some extent. We are inextricably bound one to the other.
Even when my kids are not living at home with me, I am constantly able to see them in pictures on social media or in the many text messages that get sent in my family.
Seeing their happy smiles in the photos reassures me
of their happiness and well-being.
But when I see these photos, I don't just take them at face value.
I often try to see beneath the surface to how they are really doing.
Since they only reveal what they want us to see, and tell
us selectively what is going on in their lives,
it often becomes like a puzzle.
We listen. We observe.
But then we feel.
It's almost as if the umbilical cord, far from being
severed at birth, continues the flow of emotions
from mother to child and back again.
We know something is up before we know what it is.
When we finally discover the reason for our
feelings (sometimes we never do),
it all makes sense and we can release that
nagging unexplained worry.
Not too far from childhood, my adult children have
and continue to go through
difficult times, unsure of themselves and their futures.
Just as when they were little and scraped their knees,
I continue to feel their pain.
But I don't always know the right answers
or possess the tools to make them feel better.