How many heartaches in their life, I wonder?
Feed and educate them, I can; clean their clothes, encourage them, teach and pamper, I can.
Protect, I can only a little. And as they grow older, spread their wings and fly away, it will only get more difficult, let alone impossible.
And I wonder, how many heartaches? How many falls, blows and injuries, tears and disappointments?
I can do so much in their young lives, and yet, I cannot stop them from being hurt by the insensitive, the manipulative, the gross and the selfish.
It took me ages, as a truly candid and confident individual, ages to realize how some people think and behave along particular lines of interest. How some people can act in the name of love or friendship in order to achieve their goals. How some people can therefore use the good in you and then ditch you, how insensitive and opportunist some of them can be.
I have had a few friends who turned out to be interested in me only for the help or connection or support I could give them. For a long time I gave unconditional affection and faith to people who didn't deserve that. Only to feel the pain of being left alone, only to feel the nastiness generated by jealousy or greed or selfishness. Was I innocent? I slowly recovered from heartless friends and made fewer but better connections. I chose not to close my heart, but surely I became more cautious and less spontaneously trusting.
Now, I've had the opportunity to see the friendly connections my kids make, and how, in their turn, they so genuinely and spontaneously love their friends. And how the love and affection we give sends us over the moon and makes us fragile at the same time.
And I watch...and see the cuteness, the innocence, the beauty. Alas from the grown-ups who try to control their kids' lives, I also see manipulation and opportunism, competition and jealousy. In older kids I sometimes see the seeds of rivalry and aggressiveness.
And I am left with the helpless knowledge that my beautiful children will also come across those heartaches.
Not only any mother, but any woman with motherly feelings will know how it feels. The fear and the anger beginning to groan and moan deep inside, when our sweet beloved little one is faced with darkness. When we see them starting to doubt, hoping in vain, being disappointed, or sometimes worse, being hit or insulted or harassed. Or when we see them ignorant of the manipulation or arrogance around them.
A mother's life is made of these fears too. I want to use my past experiences, good and bad, to become a better person. All those heartaches in a lifetime must mean something. Maybe simply the assurance that worthless people make good people even better. That building a beautiful life for my family and me, means loving every minute of it and acknowledging every minute of it. Including the ones that hurt. Because if you survive them while keeping a good heart, you'll only get stronger and wiser and happier. You'll be a free individual. Because you've got to accept the bad as well as the good, and draw your own conclusions and walk your own path.