Thursday, September 6, 2012

White Flag

You can learn a lot if you let life teach you. I've had to raise my white flag constantly in 2012, as my daughter is starting to leave the nest, wanting her freedom, and learning to become more and more self sufficient as she prepares for college life. 
I can't deny we've had some painful days, gut wrenching weeks
 and frustrating times this year, but it's made not only me, but her stronger.
 The changes in her started right around the time she turned 17 in January. 
I was confused, scared and sad when these changes started happening and certainly
not prepared, as I've heard she hit this phase late.
 But like I teach Madelynn to let life teach her, I had to do that myself, 
and I found that surrendering to the process, and trying to understand it
 was in my favor. It was in her favor. 
And we've become a good team despite the growing pains.
Learning to let go, as you continue to guide and parent in
these last years is one of the toughest things
 you will go through as a parent emotionally.
I've had my fair share of sensitivities. I mean I was 20 years old
when I had this baby girl, she has been my everything! And up until
this year we didn't experience much relational hardship. 
(I even asked some of my blog friends that could relate--some advice because 
I was having such a hard time and I was so sad). I started to learned that it wasn't
about me at all when she started to pull away, or not want to hang out
with me as much. Or even when she was down right rude, I knew I couldn't 
take it personally. I mean I've raised this girl with blood, guts and glory I tell ya,
starting off as a single mom for many years, has it's 
extreme challenges. And you form a bond that is indescribable 
compared to kids with both parents. Our bond is a deep, strong, beautiful one.
But what it once was has run it's course and  it hurts. It's hard. And I have
to move on. In one year from now, she won't be downstairs sleeping. I won't be making
her a lunch every night. I won't be able to sneak down in her room after she's been fast asleep to 
pray over her. I won't be able to hug her when she walks in the door after school. I won't 
be going to Band concerts. I won't get to see her sitting at the kitchen table 
doing her homework, while I'm in the living room reading or crafting. 
There are countless losses. 
I honestly can't imagine next year at this time and how my heart will feel;
 it's unfathomable to me.
But I have to believe and eventually embrace, the new gains.
 The new life that will birth.
We are all on a journey as parents, or students, or wives, or as singles.
 And life, as I once knew it just simply won't be. I will 
mourn it deeply.
 But I hope and pray that my wisdom, life lessons,
relational, intentional, loving, fun, kind, gentle, merciful, graceful, joyful,
forgiving, polite, respectful, godly, encouraging, supportive parenting will gently 
see her off to college, and into her life as an adult. One can only hope that their children
as young adults and adults will carry some of it in their hearts and minds.
I've got one amazing girl, and I vow to continue to raise my white flag throughout her
last year of High School, and to be a peacemaker, and never give up on reconciliation
no matter what we go through. Because those two things alone, are life giving.
And I want nothing less for her.

Today we had donuts before her first day as a Senior in High School, and with her large, very large hot chocolate in hand, giant smile on her precious face, and her purple back pack, my eyes swelled as she got out of the car and said, "Thanks for the ride Momma, love you, have a good day!"


ChinkyGirLMeL said...

Awwww.. you are such an awesome mom. I'm not a parent yet, but in a few years I will be. I am getting married next year and will be leaving my single mom. It is very very hard to deal with. I've lived with her for all my life...It is a whole new adventure. Moms and daughters will always have a special bond that nothing will ever be able to erase.

Chrissy said...

This is beautiful, Gina! Such a wonderful post! xxx

Elisha said...

Wow, how beautiful Gina! <3

In response to your comment... Yes, I've started back school.


What a lovely post.. Well, I think you're an awesome mom, and no matter how old she gets, she'll always turn to her momma for the things that matter most. I'm in my 40s and I still go running to Mom :)

Xaimarys said...

VEry beautiful. When you get a chance I'd love it if you could check out my blog.

Xaimarys ♡

ruthy ann said...

Oh man...I know I just had a baby and I'm years from this...but it hurts my heart just a little thinking about letting her go some day! Youve raised an amazing young woman Gina!

Kate said...

(( Big hugs to you! ))

My mom and I didn't get along at all when I was growing up, and as much as we fought, I still longed for that relationship with her. It's much better now, thankfully... but just reading how you constantly evaluate, learn, pray and grow has been so inspiring. Very glad to know that no matter what, you'll always be there for her if she needs you... and trust me, she will. ;)

Rissi said...

Lovely post. Best of luck to your daughter in this new stage of her life! :-)

his little lady said...

i can't imagine that feeling of having your baby leave the nest, but you will be so proud of the person that she will grow into and all the little life lessons she will learn. and i love this idea of letting life teach us!
xo TJ

christina said...

sooooooo sweet! praying for her and you :) I thought kindergarten was hard ...I cant imagine senior year...

I keep teasing my husband that we need a house full of kids so we increase our chances of one of them sticking around :)

Jenna Grace said...

You will look back on this simple donut morning & cherish. What a sweet post. Enjoy this year & know it's not the last, but nearing the beginning of a new chapter.

Jean said...

Awww. I know. My baby sis is a senior this year. Crazy how times flies.... *SIGH*

I think Madelynn will do wonderful out in the real world. You taught her a lot! And you gave her a lot of love. I know in my teens, I wasn't so close to my mom, same goes w/ my siblings... but we come back and want to do more w/ our parent(s). And remember, when she has troubles, she knows she can always count on you! :)

Natalie said...

Aww! This is so incredibly sweet =) You're one blessed mama!

Jennifer Melecio said...

Gina when I was growing up it was just my mom and I. We had a wonderful relationship until the middle of my senior year. If was a rough year because it was always just us but my last year I was ready to fly and she wasnt ready. We didn't always see eye to eye but I always respected her and loved her dearly. It was not easy raising a social butterfly on her own but she did a great job. I remember thinking she was not being fair or she didn't understand but she was being my mom! I love her so much for all she did for me and nothing will ever take away our great and sometimes bad memories. So hang in there. I do feel your pain and can't believe I have a senior but I thank God I also have 12 more years till my last one leaves.

Julie Marie said...

This made me tear up. I sorta dread that day. even though I know I have a long way to go, I know how fast time goes... I pray Gods peace as he continues to guide you through this part of life. before u know it she will want to be home all the time w your grand babies :)

HopeUnbroken said...

ah, gina! two more years, and i'll be writing you for advice. so keep good notes, would you?
such sweetness, this. thank you for sharing it with us. i'm watching and waiting. . . and hope i handle it with the grace and beauty that you are.
love to you,

Vic said...

i THANK you so much for these experiences because as my now teen goes through changes, i think about things like this! how things will change in the upcoming months, years....the ups and downs we're headed for. how high school will affect her...everything! you are like me, lying over our children while they sleep to make sure they are in their mothers arms and we are endlessly in love with them. i do the same things as you....but that doesn't mean they will ever forget the love we've shown them and they'll never be in a situation where they won't remember what we've taught them. :) love you mama

melissa said...

i love the relationship you have with your daughter. praying always that my darlings will be that close to me.
hugs to you as you soak in this year before college. bitter sweet.

vintage grey said...

A beautiful post Gina, and a precious relationship with you sweet daughter!! Will be praying for a wonderful year for you both sweet friend! Have a blessed weekend! xo Heather

Caitlin C. said...

This is such a beautiful post. It sounds like you and your daughter have a wonderful, close relationship. And what a great mom you are... donuts on the first day of school - YUM!! :)

Tamera Beardsley said...

Gina, this post took me a while to get brought much so I'm still blinking them back,

But my dear on this visit I can offer you hope. reading this reminded me of the searing heartache I felt as my daughter began to pull away, As you know...i was stunned...i never expected it and spent a good year devastated. Her second year in was better..she began to grow up and appreciate me more...I grew up and could finally let go and let her be ...

This summer we have been closer than we have been in years...and a better more of adults... When she left for Italy last week in tears saying she didn't want to travel without her was a moment of sheer love shared between us...

what i have learned Gina...letting go hurts like no other...but i know with all the good you put in her...she'll be might take a long time and feel like it will never will be the will be different...but it can be a really good different.

Gina I send you love my dear friend.

chambanachik said...

Oh goodness. This makes me choke up, knowing it will go by in a flash with Millie and I'll be doing the same thing someday.

Anita said...

Lovely blog/

Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

thank you for sharing your heart so transparently gina!! it's such a gift to us. i remember going through this with my own mother and it was hard, but i want you to know that i came back to her, and i believe Madelynn
will do the same. the years you put into your relationship were not in vain, and they're shaping the woman she's becoming.


p.s. blogger seems to have had an error as i was leaving my comment, so if you get two of the same thing you'll know why ;)

Mary said...

this makes me all teary.
our children are all growing up!