Today I’m going to dive a little deeper into my private life. I have two children who are obviously my world. My marriage to their father ended badly after nine years. My children then, we’re 4 and almost 6 years old. My daughter is the oldest. I have been a single mother for what seems like forever, so I was used to just the three of us.
Fast forward to a few years ago. My son is graduating from high school and my daughter is a freshman in college. My daughter and her on and off boyfriend since she was 15 are back on again and I couldn’t be happier. He’s respectful, in the military, honest, hardworking and from a good family. As a mother, could I ask for anything more in my daughter’s boyfriend? He’s even writing her beautiful letters and in every one tells her to tell me hello. So perfect right? My daughter at the time was accepted to the elite Crimson College of Nursing RN program. Only 90 students of thousands of applicants around the globe get in and she was one of them. She’s also a member of the University of Alabama Afro American Gospel Choir and their praise team HIP (His Instruments of Praise). At this time, she had done one hair show for his mom which she rocked by the way!! Through his mom again, she was featured in her first print ad in Style Q magazine and was to do another the following February.
So with all that being said, let me get into why I wasn’t ready. As a mom, you plan your child’s life out in your mind and sometimes with your child. If your blessed to have a girl, you may even plan her wedding day with her. Well, she and I did all that together and more. We had become best friends as well as mother and daughter. Where you saw me, you saw her. I would even drag my son to her choir performances at different churches.
Her boyfriend was stationed in Hawaii. In December 2015, he came home for a funeral. He was hurting and it broke my heart because there was nothing I could do. So the day they told me they wanted to get married before he left town again, within the next day or two, it kind of caught me off guard. I was in shock basically because my daughter agreed. I tried to get them to wait a year and then get married. I wanted the privilege of walking my daughter down the aisle. Or at the very least giving her a wedding. She dreamed of that day and so did I. I still have a drawing she made when she was nine years old of the wedding dress she wanting to have.
But recently I found out we have two different memories of the actual day they got married. My recollection of the day included feeling left out. But her’s included not doing anything until I was there at the courthouse. I felt so hurt, left out, robbed of giving her a wedding, and just scared because I simply wasn’t ready to let her go. To make things worse, my son was moving out of the house into the dorms for the journalism program he was accepted to at the University of Alabama. He was only 18 and she was almost 20. It felt like someone snatched my heart from my chest. It was much more dramatic at the time than it should have been but I was hurting. Both my babies were leaving home at the same time.
After the ceremony, I was still feeling hurt because there was nothing I could do about it! It was done. I wanted things to have been done traditionally. But why? Two reasons. I wanted her to have a wedding and I wasn’t ready. It’s taken me about three years to realize not only that it wasn’t about me, but also that she is only doing what she’s supposed to be doing, living. To be honest, nothing about how things happened actually matters.
My daughter was married in a beautiful private ceremony with his mom, myself and my mom in attendance on the courthouse lawn. She is young and in love. I was married at 19 and I remember how beautiful it felt to be in love. But as her mother, I wanted to protect her from going down the same destructive road that I did by marrying so young. I found myself making the same mistake many mothers make. Transference. I can’t look at her life and compare it to my past. She is her very own wonderful woman. No strings or ties to momma, daddy or our past.
It took me staying with my daughter for a few weeks to see that she’s all grown up, handling her business, being a great mother and wife, and making her way in this crazy world. She loves her husband so very much and Lord knows he loves her the same if not more. Their little love child Avianna Faith, my granddaughter, has wonderful parents. My little girl isn’t so little anymore. And that’s okay because I’m still going to always be Momma.
So if you are becoming an empty nester, remember YOU raised your kids. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache if you step back and take yourself out of the equation of their adult life. I don’t mean abandon them. I mean don’t think everything they do is because of you, how you raised them or the things you’ve done. You’re okay, right?? They’ll be alright too!! You’re still going to have that nagging tugging in your heart for years to come. But just give them space and time to be who they want to become. Be the best parent by letting them make their own decisions and even if you don’t always agree with them, allow them to make, learn from and correct their own mistakes.
Pray for your children every night regardless of how old they get. When they marry, pray for their spouses and their union. Don’t pray against them, pray for their success. I pray God remain in the midst of all my daughter and son in law do. I pray for their combined greatness and that God guides them in raising their child/children always. I’m a detailed prayer. My Pastor Donald Taylor Sr. taught us to be specific when praying. So I also pray that next time the Lord wants to catch me off guard to please let me be ready!! Lol.
PS… I secretly, on the low now, still hope for a wedding one day! Ssssuuuussssshhh!