There was a certain sadness when my fourth and last son was an infant, knowing there would be no more babies. I would cradle him in my arms, feel the warmth and sweetness of his little self, and gaze at his beautiful face as if I could freeze that moment and make time stand still. Those mother juices just don’t stop easily, do they! I moaned over this to a friend. “For this we have grandchildren,” she replied.
It was many years later that Walt, my first-born son, stood at the door wearing a white tuxedo, hours away from his wedding. In that instant, my mother role changed. He was grown up now, about to embark on a life with someone else who would partner with him in making life decisions, would laugh with him, would cry with him. The torch was about to be passed and what I saw now was my friend.
Of course I will always be Walt’s mother and he will always be my son. I will always care about him and will always pray for him, depending more now on God’s watching over him while there is distance between us. But the stark reality of what I had read long time ago stared me in the face, that a parent’s job has been successful when a child is grown and ready to leave and conduct his or her own life. It doesn’t always feel right, but it’s what must be for a healthy relationship.