I may not always make the right choices, but when it comes to my children it always comes from that Mama Bear place...I may make mistakes, but my love is no less ferocious. In fact, sometimes that very primal ferocity is what compels me to go down the wrong Mama Path, to make the wrong choices as a mother.
Our children need our freedom, but it is our responsibility to nurture them, and then, our joy watching them blossom sometimes feels paramount in its instinctual rawness. Ideally, those three parenting prongs braid nicely together, each taking their rightful turn, one not overshadowing the other, the tenacity of each equal to it's neighbor, thus resulting in the anticipated strong, glossy, autonomous plait.
Sometimes, however, a parent makes mistakes. Gathers too much in one third of the braid and it becomes lopsided. The other parts suffer...they are jilted, not given their fair share. It can be unbelievably difficult to allow our children that freedom to strike out on their own, whether that be walking down the street to a friend's house...or moving out on their own. That urge to nurture, to hover, to protect is so overwhelming that letting them out of our sight, for a minute or a month, feels like part of our very self is missing. It is, in fact.
And when they are out of our sight, they are blossoming without our witnessing it.
That is a whole different kind of pain. And joy.