This is the third in this series. Sometimes the difference between unbearable heartache and simple gratitude is solely a change in attitude.
When our oldest was a toddler and we were expecting our second child, one of my co-workers (a mother of 7 adult children) told me two things:
First, your children will bring you both your greatest joy and your greatest sorrow.
Second, you’re only as happy as your saddest and most troubled child.
At the time, this registered only as an abstract notion. After all, the turmoil of a two-year old, though overwhelming for everyone, does not usually include great sorrow. As our children have grown into remarkable, thoughtful and complex teenagers and young adults, this woman’s wisdom has echoed with me so often, and greatly today. In her words lies the core of parenting. Once we’ve jumped in, there is no escape. We’re in it for the good, the bad, the highs, the lows, the unbearable heartache, and the simple joys. We’ve been so blessed, all of us in this club, to have been given the gift of parenthood, my gift of motherhood. And regardless of the day and regardless of the circumstance, the gift itself is precious.